SF 49ers can salvage season with Week 10 win over Saints

San Francisco 49ers
New Orleans Saints
Sunday, Nov. 15
4:25 p.m. ET
Saints -9.5

At 4-5, the SF 49ers can still get back on track if they’re able to pull off an upset on the road against the 6-2 Saints in Week 10.

Contrary to popular belief, the SF 49ers can salvage their season with a Week 10 win over the New Orleans Saints.

During the offseason, the NFL had already expanded the current playoff format from 12 teams to 14. If more games are canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, owners have unanimously agreed to expand the format to 16 teams, which would add two more per conference compared to last season.

This would be great news for San Francisco, but it has to start winning games before even thinking about postseason action.

Well, we’re one game past the halfway mark of the season, and needless to say, it hasn’t been all fun and games for the SF 49ers. After suffering their fifth loss of the season during a Week 9 matchup with the 6-2 Green Bay Packers, the Niners find themselves in an uphill battle and don’t have much wiggle room for error. Sitting with a record of 4-5 after the first nine games is only good enough for the last place in the NFC West. The road to the playoffs does not get any easier for San Francisco, as it must travel to New Orleans for a showdown with the red-hot Saints — a team that vividly remembers the Week 14 battle from 2019, which resulted in a heartbreaking loss to the SF 49ers.

The game that’ll be played on Sunday will look and feel completely different from last year’s instant classic.

At this point, everyone is well aware of San Francisco’s injury list, which seems to grow after every game.

However, there’s still a slim chance the Niners can actually pull off the upset.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan understands just how depleted his team is, and yet he has it sitting in the middle of team rankings at No. 15. Many outside sources, myself included, believe the NFL should’ve postponed the Thursday night game versus Green Bay. Instead, the SF 49ers were forced to play with a severely undermanned team, and the results are exactly what you would expect, a 34-17 shellacking.

Between an excess of injuries and a number of players falling victim to the pandemic, it’s no wonder why the game was so lopsided. As long as San Francisco stays true to itself and plays within the system, team success is right around the corner.


SF 49ers: Too much Jimmy Garoppolo bashing

Holy cow! I cannot believe the overwhelming amount of reproval quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is receiving. For a guy who just led his team to a Super Bowl during a special run in 2019, to now having his name linked to all sorts of trade/cut rumors is a tad bit unfair. Unfair because of the abnormal circumstances which NFL players had to adjust to.

Critics from all over the sports world are quick to point out the last seven-plus minutes of Super BowlLIV, where Garoppolo missed some key throws. While there may be some truth to that assessment, there are still quite a few intangibles that should be factored into that judgment. For instance, the missed throws that could’ve easily been improved during OTAs and the preseason.

Unfortunately, the global pandemic we’re facing has altered normal training regimens, which didn’t give guys enough time to build a rapport, or in Garoppolo’s case, a chance to work out the kinks.

Add to the fact he suffered an early season ankle injury to go along with lack of practice, and now we have a quarterback controversy.

If the organization is frustrated and truly ready to move on from Garoppolo, then it needs to have a solid backup plan in place, since Jimmy G currently gives the Niners their best opportunity to win.

I’m curious to see what direction the SF 49ers brass will lean towards as we approach the end of the year heading into the offseason. With so many prominent players set to become free agents, it’ll be interesting to see how the organization plans to keep this roster competitive.

If San Francisco can stick to the “great character” formula which has been working well since 2017, then the turnover shouldn’t be too rocky.