No. 3: The 49ers continue to gather important wins
Obviously any divisional win is an important one, especially when you’re on the road, but the win goes a bit deeper than just the division.
The 49ers injury list is significant. Tevin Coleman, left tackle Joe Staley, right tackle Mike McGlinchey, cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon, fullback Kyle Juszczyk as well as the injuries slowing the EDGE duo of Dee Ford and Nick Bosa have plagued the team this year.
When the team went 3-0, the general idea with the injuries piling up was to see if the team could continue to bank enough wins headed into a difficult run home. If they could split the Rams and Browns, or at least be respectable in those games, then the season was on track.
Forget splitting games or being respectable. The team crushed both preseason playoff fancies by a combined score of 51-10 to be 5-0.
There are very winnable games on the schedule where the 49ers will be favored. The Rams have to come to San Francisco, the Washington Redskins barely got by the worst team in the NFL this week and are the 49ers’ next opponents, while the improved Arizona Cardinals still have a defense Kyle Shanahan would love to exploit twice.
No game can be looked past, of course, and the 49ers need to play every game like it’s their last. But the 49ers have banked enough wins and enough confidence in their abilities that they should be able to put in a winning record at absolute worst.
With an imaginative offense that has, so far, been able to absorb losses to its blocking, and a defense that looks to be the best in the league, the team has absorbed the blow of all these losses and can start to hopefully come back to full strength.
The 49ers are a legitimate team in the NFC. We knew it would happen, and now the rest of the league have started catching up to it, too.