The SF 49ers playoff hopes took another huge hit heading into the bye week. But they aren’t officially out of the race quite yet.
Typically at this point in the season, contenders start distancing themselves from the pretenders in the playoff picture. But for the SF 49ers and the majority of the NFC, the distance is closer than you think.
Despite losing to the New Orleans Saints 27-13, the 49ers are still two games behind in the NFC West as they head into the bye week. On the larger scale, they are three games behind the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and a game back of the Chicago Bears who currently occupy the bubble seat.
Based on the roster and how things are going on the field, the chances of San Francisco getting a date to the dance are slim to none. The “Revenge Tour”, like every other tour this year, has been put on hold until 2021, however, there are ways this team could make it to January.
SF 49ers win out to finish 10-6, with help to win NFC West
Stranger things have happened in sports, and the Niners can still control their own destiny with some help.
The rest of the 49ers’ schedule is theoretically winnable. They’ll come off the bye week and face the LA Rams. Back in Week 6, the Niners defeated LA 24-16. The Rams are the only team remaining the SF 49ers have defeated thus far.
After the divisional game, the SF 49ers will face the Buffalo Bills, the Washington Football Team, and the Dallas Cowboys. All three are a combined 11-17, with the Bills holding the only winning record at 7-3.
They’ll finish the season with dates against the Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks. Both currently have wins over the 49ers.
The SF 49ers won’t be able to make the playoffs on their own. They’ll need a lot of help from teams playing against the NFC West, including help within the division. It’s complicated. But technically doable.
SF 49ers finish at 9-7, second or third in NFC West
More logically, the SF 49ers win five of their remaining games and finish second or third in the division.
A huge reason this is even remotely possible is due to the NFC East having only one representative. As it stands, the NFC West has three teams, the NFC North has one and the NFC South has two representatives in the postseason.
Here’s a look at the NFL playoff picture.
If the 49ers can somehow pull off the unthinkable and finish with a better record than teams from the North, East, and West, they can make some noise in the new calendar year.
SF 49ers finish at 8-8, hope for the best
Many 49ers just want this season to be over with. Fair enough. But you know the players want to continue fighting and winning games. It’s what they get paid for. So maybe the most realistic and hopeful option for the playoff push is finishing at 8-8 and squeaking into the final Wild Card spot.
With the number of injuries the SF 49ers have been dealt, finishing the year at an even .500 would be great. It would show they still have a sense of pride and didn’t want to tank for a better first-round draft pick.
Finishing off the year strong would also provide hope for next season’s playoff push. Winning eight games in the NFL is respectable. The SF 49ers can build off the finish and help themselves in free agency when they recruit players to the Bay Area.
Understandably, many fans aren’t thinking about the playoffs. The majority are thinking about the offseason and even the beginning of next year. But the season isn’t over and the SF 49ers could still make things interesting if they defeat the Rams after the bye week.