The 49ers almost let their playoff hopes slip away on Sunday. After controlling the game all the way through, with 5 minutes to go, up by 21 the Niners came close to blowing it.
What happened in the final minutes Sunday was nearly unforgivable. Yes, the Niners did blow a game like that to Arizona back on week 14. But what was this? In my opinion, this was a young team that thought the game was over, as well as everybody else. Trey Wingo, who host’s NFL live for ESPN, already had put that the Niners were the 2 seed; twitter was blowing up about how the Niners beat the rams by 21. It was set in stone, or it seemed to be. The ending to Sunday’s we will mark up as a fluke, for now.
While we can replay the last five minutes of a game we still won till we are blue in face, let’s not forget how dominate of a performance our team had for the first 55. Heck even Kicker David Akers had more touchdown passes through the first 3 quarters than the Rams. That trick field goal to WR Michael Crabtree makes up for the one that taken off the board a few weeks ago.
Speaking of Crabtree, who finished with 9 catches for 92 yards and 2 scores, is starting to look like a #1 receiver. Hopefully this is because the young wideout is coming into his own and not because of the lack of receivers due to injuries.
Wild Card Weekend
There has been one goal since the Niners have wrapped up the division. Get one of the top 2 seeds so we can have the much needed by. The 49ers achieved that and now get the extra week of rest for players like Frank Gore, Kyle Williams, Patrick Willis, and Ted Ginn Jr.
It also gives the team an extra week to study up on their next opponent. We obviously can’t be certain who that will be but we do know that it won’t be the Lions. That leaves the Saints, the Giants or the Atlanta Falcons.
The New Orleans Saints would be the most likely choice as they play at home, where they haven’t lost all season against and end up playing a Detroit team that just gave up 480 yards and 6 touchdowns to backup quarterback Matt Flynn. Drew Brees is loving this matchup. The all time single season passing leader should have no problem getting through to us.
If for some reason the 10.5 point underdog Lions come through that would leave either the Falcons or the Giants heading west to Candlestick Park. The Giants continue to be an enigma. They start out 6-2, and then lose 5 of 6 only to win the final 2 weeks and win the NFC East. The Niners played the Giants back on week 10 and were able to hang on to a 7 point win. The game went back and forth and ended on a batted ball by Justin Smith when Eli was threatening to tie the game and force overtime.
I don’t think we’ll see the fifth seeded Falcons. It would take the 8 game win streak Saints to lose and it would mean Atlanta would win in New York. Atlanta has taken advantage of an easy schedule, but beating good teams hasn’t been there specialty. They are 1-4 versus playoff teams with their 1 win coming against Detroit. Yes they ended on an 8-3 run, but if they can’t beat Houston who had a 3rd string quarterback, how are they going to beat pro bowler Eli Manning.
It will be interesting to see how wild wild-card weekend turns out to be. Last year Seattle was able to beat the Saints. There are always surprises and who knows what we are in store for. The best part, we get to sit back and enjoy the weekend fun.