No. 2: 49ers Schedule Being Tough down the Stretch
Sure, in an ideal world, the 10-1 Niners would be looking at a bunch of sub-.500 teams to close out their portion of the regular season from this point onward.
But that’s not the case. Out of the remainder of San Francisco’s opponents, only the 3-8 Atlanta Falcons have a losing record.
Simply put, the 49ers’ remaining schedule is awfully tough:
Despite being 10-1, the New Orleans Saints, Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers are all hot on the 49ers’ heels for playoff positioning.
Yes, the Niners just dispatched Green Bay in dominating fashion, winning 37-8 in Week 12. But a Week 13 bout against the red-hot 9-2 Baltimore Ravens will be a tall order. So will road games against the Saints and Seahawks coming up.
Yet this is a good thing for the 49ers, when you stop to think about it.
Previous games against both the Seahawks and Packers provided as close to a playoff atmosphere for San Francisco, and it’s expected to be no different in Weeks 13, 14 and 17. While the schedule is tough, the toughness also toughens up the Niners in preparation for what could be a very deep postseason run.
If the proverbial “iron sharpens iron” statement is true, the 49ers can be thankful they’re preparing early for the playoffs.