Will the 2-0 San Francisco 49ers make the playoffs?


Along with the Buffalo Bills, the San Francisco 49ers are the other surprising 2-0 team in football. What are the chances the 49ers make the NFC Playoffs?

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If you count the 1-0-1 Detroit Lions, there are 10 teams in the NFL entering Week 3 that are undefeated. Many teams you would expect to be 2-0 are like the Kansas City Chiefs and the New England Patriots. However, two teams have gotten off to surprisingly hot starts in the AFC East’s Buffalo Bills and the NFC West’s San Francisco 49ers. Will these teams make the playoffs?

On this week’s episode of Stacking the Box, FanSided‘s Matt Verderame and Josh Hill, along with former NFL offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz discussed the chances of either the Bills or 49ers being among the dirty dozen that get to play meaningful playoff football in January 2020 (23:47).

Verderame has been impressed by both teams’ hot starts, as both Buffalo and San Francisco are 2-0 with two road wins already. He expects both the Bills and the 49ers to improve to 3-0 after Week 3. Buffalo is hosting Andy Dalton and the 0-2 Cincinnati Bengals, while the 49ers will host Mason Rudolph and the 0-2 Pittsburgh Steelers.

However, Verderame feels that both teams’ schedules will get tougher. Buffalo still has to play the Patriots twice, while the 49ers have four tough games in the NFC West versus the Los Angeles Rams and the Seattle Seahawks. Combined, those three rival teams of the Bills and 49ers are 6-0 through Week 2. Verderame sees maybe one of them as a playoff team, but not both.

Schwartz cited that 61 percent of 2-0 teams end up making the playoffs in the NFL. He mentioned four or five teams we can just pencil in as playoff teams like Kansas City, New England, the Dallas Cowboys and the Los Angeles Rams. He tends to think that the Bills have a better shot of getting in over the 49ers, as he believes the NFC is the tougher conference top to bottom.

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Hill mentioned that he picked the Bills as a playoff team before the start of the year. So it seems that all three believe that one of these two teams are getting in, but not both, with Buffalo being more likely of pulling it off than San Francisco. But are we underselling the 49ers’ chances a bit?

Continuity will be key here for the 49ers. This is the third year that Kyle Shanahan has been the head coach and John Lynch as the general manager. They have had another offseason with Jimmy Garoppolo as their starting quarterback and another offseason where Lynch can draft and sign the right players to make this team better.

Overall, expect both teams to hover around .500 and push for a playoff spot into the latter half of December. Given that the NFC and the NFC West are tougher than the AFC and the AFC East, Buffalo’s odds should be better, but the 49ers look to be a top-half team in the NFC already. We’ll have to wait and see if they are indeed a top-six team in the NFC.

Here are a few of the topics discussed on this week’s episode of Stacking the Box:

  • Is starting the New York Giants’ Daniel Jones the right decision? (0:55)
  • Can Rudolph lead the Steelers to the playoffs? (6:46)
  • Will Cam Newton be the Carolina Panthers’ quarterback in 2020? (25:45)
  • Which of the winless teams has the best chance to make the playoffs? (35:08)

All this and more!

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