49ers vs. Colts: Why Week 7 is a must-win game for San Francisco
The 49ers host the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday Night Football. This is a must-win for a team on the ropes right now following three straight losses.
Week 7 will showcase a Sunday Night Football matchup between two teams each with only two wins thus far in the season. The San Francisco 49ers and Indianapolis Colts come into Sunday night at 2-3 and 2-4, respectively.
For the Niners, though, this is a must-win game to save the season.
San Francisco had very high expectations coming into the 2021 season. The team was expected to be competing for a Super Bowl just two seasons removed from its last trip.
The injury bug struck again, though, early in the season. And with a bit of quarterback controversy through five weeks of 2021, the team is struggling to find its identity.
Therefore the game against the Colts is truly a must-win bout if the 49ers want to salvage a season that is spiraling downward quickly.
49ers face a bottom-tier Colts defense
The Colts aren’t looking like a playoff team at 2-4. While they have had flashes of greatness, they have not looked consistent. Losing to them would show at some level the Niners cannot even beat bad teams.
How bad though are they? The Colts are giving up 366.5 yards per game. That puts their defense in the bottom half of the league, ranking at 20th in that category.
San Francisco’s offense should be able to move the ball against the Colts defense, as the 49ers offense has averaged 368.2 yards of offense per game against teams like the Green Bay Packers, Arizona Cardinals, and Philadelphia Eagles, all of whom are in the top 15 of defenses in yards allowed per game.
49ers ‘red and cold’ defense
The 49ers’ defense has actually played great through five games. Their defense currently ranked sixth in the league, only allowing 329.8 yards per game. They are also only giving up 23.8 points per game.
The Niners defense is better than their record shows. The offense of the Colts, on the other hand, is only averaging 23.2 points per game.
San Francisco should be able to limit the Colts, offensively, based on these numbers alone.
49ers to go 2-4? We need more
Another reason why the 49ers are in a must-win situation is the state of their division, the NFC West.
The division rival Cardinals are 6-0, and the Los Angeles Rams are 5-1. The Niners, at 2-3, are in third place just by half a game. A loss to the Colts would send San Francisco back into fourth place in the division.
It is already an extremely unlikely scenario the 49ers win the division at this point, with the Cardinals undefeated and surging right now.
Read More: 4 biggest challenges 49ers will face in Week 7 vs. Colts
However, it is not out of the realm of possibility, seeing as how the Cardinals started off hot in 2020, at 5-2 through seven weeks. Then only managed three more wins after their bye week, finishing with a mediocre 8-8 record and no playoff berth.
Even with that as a possibility, the Rams are waiting in the wings to take the division should the Cardinals slip up.
A Wild Card berth is the most likely way the Niners make it to the playoffs, with the multitude of teams in the conference that have two or three wins.
But even at that, this team will still need a victory over the lowly Colts on Sunday to boost their confidence.