The 49ers emerge from their bye week carrying a four-game winning streak with a home game against the Cleveland Browns. In the last nine games of the season the 49ers face-off against the NFC West four times and have their toughest challenges against the Giants, Ravens and Steelers. With a new found confidence the 49ers have a chance to win the NFC West for the first time since 2002. Here is how I think they will finish out the season.
Week 08: Browns (3-3)
The 49ers defense has proven it can shut down Michael Vick, Josh Freeman and Matthew Stafford so it will have no problem stopping Colt McCoy and a developing offense. The offense will not be needed much but will get a few TD’s with good field position thanks to the defense. 49ers win 23-10.
Week 09: @Redskins (3-3)
Traveling to the East coast used to be a problem for the 49ers but with wins against the Bengals, Eagles and Lions on the road the time change has no effect. The 49ers will rely on the defense to win again as the offense struggles against the Redskins defense with turnovers. The defense will come up with a score and the specials teams will put the 49ers in position for a last minute field goal to win the game. 49ers win 27-24.
Week 10: Giants (4-2)
With a 7-1 record the 49ers will be flying high hosting the Giants who will bring with them to Candlestick six wins by week ten. A lot of attention will be on the game as a playoff preview. The 49ers will struggle all game on both sides of the football against a more experienced Giants team. The 49ers will stay in the game late into the third quarter but the Giants will pull away in the fourth. 49ers lose 30-17.
Week 11: Cardinals (1-5)
The 49ers will shake off their first loss in six games with huge victory over the lowly Cardinals. Alex Smith will have his best game of the season throwing for four TD’s and over 300 yards. 49ers win 40-16.
Week 12: @ Ravens (4-1)
It would not be Thanksgiving without family, and what better matchup than Harbaugh vs. Harbaugh on Thanksgiving night. The Harbaugh brothers will enter the game with similar records with both of their teams in the top five of the NFL’s best. The game will be competitive and intense but the 49ers will come up short in the end in the high-scoring shut out loosing 35-30.
Week 13: Rams (0-6)
By week 13 the 49ers will have clinched the NFC West title and their first playoff berth since 2002 erasing last weeks heartbreaking loss. The 49ers will celebrate their division title with a drubbing of the Rams who will only have two wins by week 13. 49ers win 35-6.
Week 14: @ Cardinals (1-5)
Riding a three game winning streak the Cardinals will come out swinging and the 49ers will be caught flat footed in the first half. The 49ers will mount a come back in the second half but it will be too little, too late. 49ers upset, 24-16.
Week 15: Steelers (5-2)
Hosting the Steelers on Monday Night Football and wanting to erase the disappointing loss to the Cardinals the 49ers come out prepared and determined. The game will be close until the final minutes of the fourth quarter but the Steelers defense will be too much for Alex Smith and the offense. 49ers lose for the second straight week, 25-10.
Week 16: @ Seahawks (2-4)
The 49ers will roll into Seattle’s loud stadium and show the noise is not a problem like they did in Detroit against the Lions. The 49ers offense and defense both come back to life after two weeks of playing badly. 49ers win 26-9.
Week 17: @ Rams (0-6)
Finishing out the season on the road the 49ers will be playing for a first round home game in the playoffs. The Rams playing for pride will come out playing well and surprise the 49ers with a tough game throughout. Rams pull of a stunning win over the 49ers 18-13.
Playoffs: Even with the week 17 loss the 49ers will have home field advantage in the first round and will advance with their first playoff win playoff win since 2002. The 49ers will be eliminated in the Divisional Round of the playoffs.