5 teams that could stand in the way of 49ers Super Bowl hopes
By Peter Panacy
The 49ers are still in contention for a Super Bowl appearance in 2022, yet these five teams could easily stand in the way of that happening.
Let’s be honest, if the San Francisco 49ers somehow manage to find their way to Super Bowl LVI in February of 2022, it’ll be a near miracle.
Especially considering the Niners, at one point this season, were 2-4 and mired in a four-game losing streak with seemingly everything that could go wrong going wrong.
And yet here we are.
Winners of five of the last seven, San Francisco is currently holding onto a Wild Card spot in the NFC playoff picture, the No. 6 seed, and probably needs to win just two more games to finish 9-7 and retain a postseason berth.
Doable with four games left on the regular-season schedule.
There are obstacles, however, and there are plenty of other teams, both contending and otherwise, who’d love to put a dent in the 49ers’ slim-but-possible Super Bowl hopes this season.
Here are five.
49ers Challenger No. 5: Atlanta Falcons
Not technically eliminated yet, the 6-7 Atlanta Falcons are currently on the outside, looking in at the NFC seeding. Currently at No. 10, it’ll take a lot of work from Atlanta’s part to nab a Wild Card berth, and it’ll probably require some good fortune along the way, too, at least to leapfrog the other hopefuls in the Nos. 8 and 9 seeds, the Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles, respectively.
This proves the obvious point: You can’t make the Super Bowl if you don’t get into the playoff dance, and the Niners get to host the Falcons in what could be a true desperation game in Week 15.
Two more wins almost guarantee San Francisco a playoff berth. Even one would be marginally OK for the hopes of hanging onto the seventh seed.
With additional games against the Tennessee Titans, Houston Texans and Los Angeles Rams, the 49ers don’t necessarily have to view Week 15 as a must-win game. Yet the challenges of playing the Titans on the road for Thursday Night Football, paired with a seemingly returning-to-being-red-hot Rams team in Week 18, getting that win over Atlanta almost seems like a necessity.