Week 9 games 49ers fans will want to watch during Niners bye

Rashaad Penny #20 of the Seattle Seahawks (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Rashaad Penny #20 of the Seattle Seahawks (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

With the 49ers off this week, the NFL schedule still provides some meaningful contests for Niners fans as their team takes a much-needed break.

Bye weeks aren’t just about the team, coaches and staff getting a break from NFL action.

No, bye weeks can actually benefit the fanbase, too.

Sure, San Francisco 49ers fans might feel a little lonely this weekend with the Niners poised to enjoy their Week 9 bye after knocking off the Los Angeles Rams the previous Sunday. And with head coach Kyle Shanahan squad not poised to return to the field until Sunday, Nov. 13 against the Los Angeles Chargers, it’ll be a while before fans can watch the red and gold in action.

Honestly, a little bit of a breather is probably a nice thing. And it’s often easier to watch other games during the football weekend without too big a rooting interest.

There still should be something of a rooting interest, though. Especially with what San Francisco might be facing in the playoff picture, both within the NFC West and the entire conference as a whole.

With that as a backdrop, here are three games 49ers fans will probably want to pay a bit more attention to this weekend.

Week 9 games 49ers fans will want to watch

Miami Dolphins @ Chicago Bears

The Niners just sent running back Jeff Wilson Jr. to the Dolphins where he’ll not only join a friendly tailback formerly from San Francisco, Raheem Mostert, but he’ll also be reunited with the 49ers’ former offensive coordinator, now-Miami head coach Mike McDaniel.

Those are rooting interests for the 5-3 Dolphins, yes, but a key reason why Niners fans should be hoping for a Miami victory over the 3-5 Bears is due to the fact Chicago is still only one game behind San Francisco in the NFC playoff picture, and that Week 1 loss to the Bears means the 49ers don’t hold the head-to-head tiebreaker if both teams finish with an identical record.

Instead, the Niners need to simply hope for the Dolphins to handle their business on the road and push Chicago further down the NFC pecking order.

Vikings @ Commanders

It’s strange to think the Vikings sit atop the NFC North after that division being completely dominated by the Packers, but that’s what a 6-1 Minnesota start to the year will earn, especially with quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Pack struggling this season.

The Vikings visit the 4-4 Commanders, and the latter squad could legitimately challenge San Francisco for a Wild Card berth, whereas Minnesota doesn’t seem as if it’ll lose its hold on the division.

And someone has to win the NFC North anyway, so the 49ers aren’t competing for that playoff berth.

Just like Niners fans can hope for Miami to push Chicago down, the same should be said about the Vikings pushing the Commanders back down the conference seeding, too.

Seahawks @ Cardinals

Ah, yes. This is a little tougher. And anytime there is an NFC West matchup, whatever the outcome is will have some notable impact on San Francisco no matter what.

The division-leading Seahawks (as weird as that is to say) probably aren’t going to command much rooting interest from 49ers fans, as they’ll want to see the red and gold seize the NFC West for a change, not the Hawks. However, the 3-5 Cardinals are still a threat within the division, and the Niners haven’t played them yet.

So, that prompts the inter-divisional question: Would fans rather see a team like Arizona pushed way down into the divisional basement at the expense of Seattle getting yet another divisional win and retaining hold on the NFC West? Or would it be better for the Cardinals to climb in the standings but knock the Seahawks back a spot?

Who are we kidding? Go Cardinals!

Next. Ranking 49ers' 10 best teams in franchise history. dark