Moving right along, the 49ers travel to St. Louis this weekend attempting to do a better job of playing the Rams than they did three weeks ago at Candlestick. Hopefully, they will not fall for a fake punt yet a third time.
They’d also be wise to figure out a way to cover WR Danny Amendola and offer a more spirited resistance to Steven Jackson’s power running. Being reasonably awake when the game begins is usually a good idea, too.
The Rams are undefeated in the NFC West this year, currently sporting a 3-0-1 record. Seattle is 0-3 and the Niners are 2-0-1. Interesting, if you’re looking for something interesting, and you’d have to be looking hard, and if you were, you probably shouldn’t. A win Sunday would guarantee the Rams the best record in the division this year, which I remember us blogoholics finding comfort in during the 8-8 Singletary year of 2009. It wasn’t much comfort, but we were about as starved for decency then as the Rams are now.
Speaking of comfort, which was more impressive last Sunday — the 49ers taking down the Saints in New Orleans or the Giants wiping up the floor with the Packers in New Jersey? The Giants have now routed both the Packers and the 49ers this year. They’ve also lost four head shakers, but that seems to be their style — wake me when the real games begin.
And home field advantage or a playoff bye week doesn’t concern the Giants, either. They’ll go into the playoffs as the third or fourth seed. If the current standings hold firm, the 3rd seed would play the 49ers in the Divisional Round and the 4th seed would play the Falcons. And if league perceptions hold firm, the NFC Title game will once again be between the 49ers and Giants, whether that game occurs in the Divisional round or the Title round. Sorry, Falcons, nobody believes in you.
But all this scenariosity goes out the window if the 49ers cough away this week’s Rams game. There’s only two other games left on the schedule that could be tough to win — at New England and at Seattle, leaving a worst case 11-4-1 final record. Chicago can beat that if they don’t lose more than one more game. And if Green Bay or the Giants win out, the Niners would fall to the third seed, or even fourth seed. Not a disaster by any means, just an extra victory needed to get to the SB. And on the road, which is where SB winners seem to come from these days.
Chicago plays at home against Seattle this weekend, and the road challenged Seahawks should find a way to lose. If they do, the NFC West race is as good as over. The worst the Niners can do now is 10-5-1, and Seattle would not be able to go better than 10-6. If the Niners beat St. Louis, the Seattle game won’t mean anything. In fact, a Chicago loss would be helpful toward that first round bye.
But, first the division, then the world. Go Niners!
I will be heading east today to attend to family matters and will not be back until mid next week. I doubt I will be checking in during this time, so you fellows are on your own for awhile. Hopefully, by the time I get back we’ll have beaten the Rams and locked up the NFC West. We’ll see.