For the first time in five years, the San Francisco 49ers are playing meaningful games early in the season. Their matchup against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, could make or break their playoff hopes.
It’s Thanksgiving weekend in Canada, which only means one thing: postseason football. The San Francisco 49ers are in a prime position to determine their own fate when they take on the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday afternoon. It’ll be a great measuring point for the Northern California team to see if it can keep up with the Super Bowl runner ups.
At 4-0, the Niners’ first divisional game means more than what meets the eye. It’s the first time all season they’ve faced a NFC West rival. It’ll be the San Francisco’s third road game in six weeks, with the Week 4 bye planted in there.
Leading up to the Monday nighter versus the Cleveland Browns, there was quite a bit of talk about how the 49ers have made it this far. Many said they hadn’t faced a “good team” yet. Well, the Niners beat a group who had two wins heading into Week 5.
Now they have a chance to prove themselves.
The Rams are sitting third in the NFC West at 3-2, behind the surprising Seattle Seahawks (4-1) and the 49ers (4-0). However, don’t let the barely above .500 record fool you. The Rams are fresh off that Super Bowl appearance and haven’t played since Oct. 3 when they opened Week 5 on Thursday night.
Lead by head coach Sean McVay, the Rams have finished first in the NFC West in back-to-back years. Their offence has been ranked in the top 10 in points and yards, while their defense has been in middle of the pack.
It’s only Week 6, but this divisional game will go a long way in determining if the 49ers go into the postseason as NFC West champs or Wild Card contenders. Not including the upcoming game in L.A., the Niners will face five other teams with winning records. With only 12 games remaining, it’s certainly a favorable schedule for a team looking to head back to the Super Bowl for the first time in seven years.
San Francisco will be facing an uphill battle on the injury front, which would make a victory on the road even more sweet. Already without left tackle Joe Staley, right tackle Mike McGlinchey, fullback Kyle Juszczyk and cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon, the 49ers will work the next-man-up mentality for the next month and half.
Niner Noise’s Ezechiel Dezine broke down the injuries.
If the squad from NorCal can pull off what some would label an “upset,” with three key injuries on the offensive side of the ball, you can pencil them in your playoff bracket.
It won’t be easy, though. The Rams defensive lineman, Aaron Donald, will be looking to feast on the outside of the Niners offensive line, quarterback Jared Goff will be feeding off the crowd while trying to navigate his way through the pass rush of the Niners defensive line.
FanSided’s John Buhler gave his thoughts on the team needing to prove it belongs in the top tier of the league.
This 49ers team is for real. They’re making a drastic push to be playing meaningful football in January and February. A win against the Rams will all but solidify their chances of being in the dance once again.
Buckle up, Niner fans, we’re in it for the long haul.