At 5-1 the 49ers come into week 8 with a commanding 3 game lead in the NFC West. Week 8 presents another opportunity for the team to separate themselves even further from the pack. While the 49ers had one of the hardest schedules in the NFL early in the season they managed to get through at 5-1 suffering only 1 close loss to the Dallas Cowboys week 2. The rest of the way the 49ers have one of the easiest schedules in the entire league with 5 games left against the West and only 3 games vs. teams over .500. Each week will present another opportunity to inch closer towards clinching the division and setting their sights on home field advantage in the playoffs. Yes 49er fans I said it, home field advantage in the PLAYOFFS!
The 49ers host the Browns and while Cleveland hasn’t been as bad as I expected they come into week 8 they are still early in their rebuilding and aren’t on the same level as the 49ers. To make matters worse for Browns fans running back Peyton Hillis will miss today’s game with a hamstring injury. Make no mistake the Browns are making progress under team president Mike Holmgren but they don’t have enough fire power to win against the 49ers. San Francisco should easily move to 6-1 this week, especially if Braylon Edwards comes back and plays a big role like I think he will.
PAGE 2: Why the 49ers will pick up another game on each NFC West team.
Arizona comes in today facing a Baltimore Ravens team that laid an egg last week on Monday night football. The Cardinals, especially quarterback Kevin Kolb have been awful this season. While they do welcome back safety Adrian Wilson that won’t be near enough to hold off Ray Lewis and the rest of the Baltimore Ravens. Expect the Ravens to crush the Cardinals today and drop them to 1-6.
The mess in St Louis won’t see anything change today as they face the New Orleans Saints. Without quarterback Sam Bradford this team stands absolutely no chance at scoring enough points to keep up with a potent Saints offense. There isn’t much more I can say about this game, the Rams are bad, the Saints are very good. Hey maybe the Rams can go 0-16 and trade the #1 pick out of the NFC West, ensuring the 49ers won’t have to face Andrew Luck 2 times each year.
And finally the Seattle Seahawks the “closest” team to the 49ers in the NFC West coming into week 8 three games behind SF face off against the Bengals today. Under Pete Carroll the Hawks are an embarrassment, the decisions the team has made at the QB position have put this team in a no win situation. Tavares Jackson and Charlie Whitehurst are backup QBs at best and they won’t do anything against a surprisingly stout Bengals defense that ranks among the league’s best. While I don’t necessarily see a blowout here, the Bengals shouldn’t have much trouble putting Seattle away today.
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