In the wake of their win over the LA Rams, the SF 49ers shouldn’t tank over their remaining five games of the 2020 season.
If you ask anyone from the SF 49ers organization, they’ll probably tell you the team is far from a polished product and not where they had hoped to be at this point in the season.
Fortunately for San Francisco, there’s still a handful of games left to be played, which means the playoffs are not out of reach. Although the Niners currently sit at last place in the NFC West with a record of 5-6, they’re still in the hunt and need to finish strong coming down the stretch.
This season has been unconventional to say the least, and the SF 49ers seem to have been hit the hardest. From early season training camp injuries, to COVID-19 infections, team vehicles getting damaged, and literally being blocked from home practice facilities, it has been one of the most difficult seasons for a team to be part of.
The unpropitious news does not stop there. Changing stadiums for home games can now be added to the list of misfortunes.
Due to the growing number of COVID-19 infection rates in Santa Clara County, where Levi’s Stadiums is, the SF 49ers reached an agreement with the NFL and the Arizona Cardinals, meaning San Francisco will host its next two home games versus the Buffalo Bills and Washington Football Team at State Farm Stadium in Arizona.
However, the change of scenery should not effect their mentality nor approach for these upcoming pivotal matches.
After the Niners were embarrassed by the Green Bay Packers three games ago, many critics believed the franchise was dead in the water and should start planning their offseason itinerary. What the critics didn’t realize is this team has the heart of a champion that will continue to fight until the final whistle. Pride is one of the main driving forces behind a desperate team, and with five games remaining on the schedule, that’s exactly what San Francisco is. There’s no telling how successful the Niners will be once in the playoffs, but if they can keep getting healthy while piling up some late-season wins, this may very well be the league’s most dangerous team.
A team that still possesses a stout defense despite being depleted for much of the season.
With so many impactful players set to return to the lineup, the SF 49ers are beginning to look more like a functional team instead of the league’s doormat. The reinsertion of wide receiver Deebo Samuel and running back Raheem Mostert from injuries provided an instant spark to what has been a rather dull offense. Although Mostert didn’t have the eye-popping numbers in Week 12 against the LA Rams, it was his first game back after missing the previous four matches. Samuel, on the other hand, made his presence felt immediately after his first touch, compiling a final stat line of 11 receptions for 133 yards with an average of 12.09 per catch, which was good enough to help San Francisco get the win.
As the Niners prepare for its Week 13 Monday night showdown versus the Bills, all eyes will be on the team’s overall health. With key players expected to return in the coming weeks, the team’s overall continuity will be the main catalyst to its success.
2020 has been an unprecedented year for many of us, but if San Francisco can pull off the unthinkable, it’ll be the biggest silver-lining in what has been an otherwise disastrous year.
And that might be enough to squeak back into the playoffs where a very-healthy Niners team could make some noise.