If you listen to any sports talk show, you would get the idea that the 49ers have been eliminated from contention of their 3rd straight division title. While we haven’t ran the table to start the season, we have still posted a winning record and that was against tough opponents. The 49ers were scheduled 4 playoffs teams from he previous year and a road divisional game on a short week against a team they were 0-1-1 last year against. If you would have told me the 49ers would be 3-2 thru 5 games with injuries to Willis, Davis, and Aldon Smith looking like he was out for the season with off the field issues, I would have taken it.
Meanwhile the current division leader, Seattle are very fortunate to be 4-1. They squeaked by Carolina week 1 12-7, got the 49ers and a high school team in Jacksonville at home, then baited Matt Schaub into being, well Matt Schaub. They managed to find a way to win all those games until they went to Indianapolis and lost a close one. So they had 3 games against playoff teams and then Carolina and Jacksonville, they should be 4-1 with that schedule.
It is worth mentioning the Arizona Cardinals are a quiet 3-2. They have wins over Detroit, Tampa Bay, and Carolina. With Palmer at quarterback accompanied by their defense, the Cardinals should be able to play close games throughout the season and should stay right around the .500 mark.
As for the Rams they are sitting at 2-3 and traveling to Houston to play a hungry Texan team that desperately need a win. This was supposed to be a breakout year for the Rams, and many thought they could be fighting for a playoff spot. They still might, but it’s not the start they were looking for. Their schedule will be brutal starting week 8 which will feature 7 games against teams with winning records including the Seahawks, Colts, Bears, 49ers, and Saints.
Upcoming for the 49ers are the Cardinals, @ Tennessee, @ Jacksonville, bye week, and Carolina. There is no reason the 49ers shouldn’t win all four games to get them to 7-2. That will keep them step for step with Seattle while still having the home game against the Seahawks December 8th. With that in mind the 49ers should also be getting Michael Crabtree back sometime in November, which should kick-start the struggling pass offense.
It’s too early to crown any team the best in any division or in the league, especially when teams like Seattle and Denver have a combined 1 game lead in their divisions. Wait a few weeks, it all may change with an injury or just by playing a team that has your number. These next few weeks will start to separate the contenders from pretenders, and I still believe the 49ers will be division champs by seasons end.