If there is going to be any meaning at all to this so far miserable season, it will have to occur now. For the 49ers, the 2010 playoffs begin this week. They will have to go at least 6-2 in the second half to win the division. And those two losses had better not be divisional games. A division sweep is almost mandatory at this point.
Some fans out there may feel insulted to be rooting for an 8-8 team, throwing out the “how far our franchise has fallen” head shakes. But our franchise fell a long time ago and we have no right to be hi-falutin’ about how we get into the playoffs. After the team has gotten there a few times, we can start getting picky about style points again. But not now.
Besides, we’re rooting for a 6-2 team at this point, which isn’t bad. A few years back, the Chargers squeaked into the playoffs at 8-8, winning four in a row to close out the season. They then won two more and got all the way to the AFC Championship game, which they lost. And the Bolts did all this despite having Norv Turner as their HC. Hint, hint.
So, for the moment, this site is going to ignore the black hole developing at the top of the 49er coaching tree, sometimes referred to as Mike Singletary, but only these days by scribemongers who have to be professional and cannot use the terms circulating among the members of the blogosphere. These blogomeisters prefer terms that can be found in the online dictionary of Unca_Chuck.
At any rate, until the team officially gets the dreaded Toe Tag, we will let this Elephant in the Room careen around on the sidelines, more spectacularly but just as uselessly as Jerry Jones sideline presence in Dallas, and presume the team itself is alive and lurching along the pathway to the playoffs. For baseball fans, this is the September of the year and scoreboard watching is now in full force.
Yesterday’s view was quite pleasant. The Cardinals had every chance in the world to get lucky and beat the imploding Vikings, but they coughed the game away late, just like the Niners have done all year. It was the first time I could ever remember rooting for Bret Farve. I will add this to the list of indignities the 2010 Niners have forced me to endure.
Equally enjoyable was seeing the Seahawks get completely demolished for the second week in a row, this time at home. It even looks like Pete Carroll’s starter-to-be backup QB, Charlie Whitehurst, is worse than our former backup, David Carr. Seattle is ravaged by injuries currently, but I’m not ashamed to be thankful. Just another item to add to the indignity list mentioned above. Fan shamelessly hoping other teams are falling apart worse than his own team is.
The only team not falling apart in the NFC West is the Rams, whom the Niners play next Sunday. They are not yet very good, but they have the only stable QB situation in the division and could be poised to take control of the west in the coming seasons. Sam Bradford has the look of an elite QB in the making. The other three teams have the Marx Brothers QB of the week rotations.
For the rest of this season, the Niners have to demonstrate that they do indeed have the most talented roster in the division. They also have to hope Troy Smith doesn’t prove to be a one lucky game guy. If that’s all he turns out to be, this odd ball season could provide us with the most unexpected occurrence of the past six years — the Candlestick crowd chanting “We want Alex! We want Alex! …”