As great as this three-game winning streak has been for the 49ers, Jimmy Garoppolo knows from the 2019 Super Bowl run and his time in New England that the next four games are mainly going to decide the fate of the 2021 49ers.
“There’s always moments where you could stop and smell the roses, but those moments go by pretty quickly. So you’ve got to enjoy them for a quick second and then the season just is always, the train’s rolling. You’ve got to jump on it and keep moving with it. So, we’re into December now, so this is when football really starts.”
The next four games are going to decide so much for this team. Seattle this week, in Cincinnati in Week 14, home for the Falcons in Week 15, and then in Tennessee on Thursday night.
If the 49ers go at least 2-2 in that stretch, they’re probably going to make the playoffs. They’d be 8-7 in January with two games left against the Texans and the Rams. Who wouldn’t take those odds right now?
While the game against Seattle this week will be tougher without Deebo Samuel, it’s not impossible to replace the big plays he’s provided on offense.
“Deebo was still able to break a few big runs here three weeks in a row. But regardless of who breaks it, whether it’s Deebo, it’s not some real trick. It’s real good blocking and having a good runner who’s got a chance to break a tackle and make an explosive, not just six-yard gain. I think Elijah has done a pretty good job of that. And I think we’ve got some guys who are capable and the more big plays you get, the easier it is to win.”
Deebo is one-of-a-kind, for sure, but that doesn’t mean he’s the only player capable of breaking off a big play. Kittle, Aiyuk, and even Kyle Juszczyk are all capable of making a splash play of 20 or 30 yards during a game.
Clearly, everyone else on offense is going to have to step up while Samuel is out. Fortunately, the 49ers as an organization are built to be able to sustain a short-term loss on offense and still be able to function.