Yahoo's Michael Silver says that the 49ers need to win 3 out of their next 4 to remain in the race. That would put us at 6-6 going into the game against Arizona. The Cards still have to play Minnesota, Green Bay, the Niners, and a resurgent Titans team (someone on NFL network said that they'll go 6-2 or 7-1 for the rest of the season). If we go into the Cards game @ 6-6 and beat them, we're either going to go 9-7 or 10-6, owning the tie-breaker with Arizona. The season will then come down to whether Arizona beats Green bay or whether or not we beat Philly.
The only decent news for the Bears is that their next opponent is struggling just as much. On Thursday Chicago will face the 49ers at Candlestick Park, where Mike Singletary’s team suffered its fourth consecutive defeat on Sunday to drop to 3-5. San Francisco’s 34-27 loss to the Titans (2-6) had some ominous overtones: In his second game since replacing Shaun Hill(notes) as the team’s starting quarterback, Alex Smith threw three interceptions, fumbled twice (losing one) and absorbed four sacks. And Singletary, after espousing a run-first philosophy all offseason, seemed to usher in a shift Sunday with a heavy reliance on the spread offense and a pass-run ratio of more than 2:1. Whatever their identity, the Niners still have the talent to compete for a playoff spot. Their next four games, before a rematch at Candlestick with a Cards team they beat in the season opener: Chicago, at Green Bay, Jacksonville, at Seattle. If the 49ers can win three of those (and I think they can), they’re back in business.