Back to work week for our intrepid 49er lads who tasted defeat last Thursday for the first time since mid-September. Even in defeat, however, Dame Fortune remained kind to the team by sneaking into Seattle on Sunday and inducing the Seahawks to barf a game against the Redskins, thereby making next Sunday’s game against the Rams an opportunity for the Niners to clinch a playoff berth for the first time since 2002.
IMHO, we will see champagne squirting hither and yon in the 49ers locker room shortly after 4pm PST Sunday afternoon, December 4th.
A victory Sunday would give the 49ers a perfect 3-0 sweep of the division opponents, all three victories coming at home. To complete a 6-0 division run, the team will have to go 3-0 on the road. After Sunday’s game, there is only one home game left on their schedule, the Monday Night game against Pittsburgh on December 19th.
Notably not attending next Sunday’s victory party will be Takeo Spikes, who took his 84 years in the league without getting into the playoffs to San Diego this past offseason to help enure the shit-canning of Chargers HC Norv Turner. With yesterday’s loss to the Broncos, mission accomplished. 85 years in the league without a playoff game. Who’ll be the next in line for Takeo’s services? Can we induce Green Bay to sign him this coming offseason?
Alex Smith will attend the party, for sure. He’ll be wiping the fizz from his eyes and holding up a memento jersey with two sets of former HC bus tire tracks on the back of it. He might even break out into an aw shucks giggle. Our humble leader. The QB who couldn’t possibly lead any team to the playoffs. Next up on the disdain list, the QB who couldn’t possibly win a playoff game.
It’s possible I’m getting ahead of myself. I mean, maybe they’ll lose to the Rams.
Back to reality, a loss Sunday would put the Rams, the pre-season favorites to win the West, a full EIGHT games behind the Niners, with four games left to play. Does any other stat out-demonstrate the awesome turn around the 49ers have made this season?
Starting with the Giants game three weeks ago, Jim Harbaugh has moth balled the jumbo running game and gone to a pass oriented scheme. Not sure if this is just an attempt to sync up the passing game for the playoffs or an attempt to lure playoff defenses away from Frank Gore obsession. We haven’t seen any “cute” plays in three weeks, either. Nor will we in the remaining five games. These gems will be saved for the playoffs. And you can be sure Harbaugh and OC Greg Roman will be concocting a few eye-openers during the remaining weeks of the season.
The reality is, if the Niners get the number two seed come January, they will only be two games away from getting into the Super Bowl. Winning the first playoff game is all important for franchise prestige, but winning that second game, most probably in Green Bay, would be a stunning upset. Still, it’s only two games. Anything can happen. In previous years these anythings were always bad, but this year, anythings have been very good to us. It’s a thing thing.