Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Back in the hunt: Where the 49ers stand in the NFC playoff picture after rout of Rams

Nov 16, 2021 at 10:27 AM--

Let's not get too far ahead of ourselves. The San Francisco 49ers still have eight games remaining on their 2021 schedule. However, their season isn't as dead as it appeared a week ago. After a decisive 31-10 victory over the Los Angeles Rams, a division rival with Super Bowl aspirations, their playoff hopes are alive.

Next up are the Jacksonville Jaguars, a team Kyle Shanahan's Niners should be able to beat. Of course, that was the thinking in Week 9 against an injury-depleted Arizona Cardinals team. That didn't go as hoped.

However, if the 49ers can ride the momentum of Monday night's impressive and somewhat shocking win throughout the rest of the season, they could be a dangerous team down the stretch.

"I wouldn't want to face them," Peter Schrager said on Good Morning Football. "I wouldn't want to face that. Whatever that was last night, that was the stuff that you lose sleep over because you can't control that."

The rout of the Rams keeps the 49ers in the playoff conversation. They are just a game back of the final Wild Card spot. Below is a breakdown of the current playoff picture in the NFC, with the first four teams being the division leaders.

  1. Green Bay Packers, 8-2
  2. Arizona Cardinals, 8-2
  3. Dallas Cowboys, 7-2
  4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 6-3
  5. Los Angeles Rams, 7-3
  6. New Orleans Saints, 5-4
  7. Carolina Panthers, 5-5

And the top four teams in the hunt to steal away that final Wild Card spot:

  • Minnesota Vikings, 4-5
  • San Francisco 49ers, 4-5
  • Atlanta Falcons, 4-5
  • Philadelphia Eagles, 4-6

"I don't know if the 49ers have the quarterback play or some of the defensive backfield play to win a Super Bowl this year," Schrager continued, "but they sure aren't going to go quietly into the night. I loved the way they came out last night, interceptions, and then the drive of the century."

That drive Schrager refers to was the 18-play, 93-yard scoring drive that ate up 11:03 of game clock following the first of Jimmie Ward's two interceptions.

Schrager added, "The Rams had no shot last night because the Niners established themselves. Can you do that long-term? Yes, you can. Like, when you dominate in the trenches, that's a way to win week to week. ... Yes, they're alive. It's a wide-open NFC. Super Bowl contenders, like we said before the season? I don't know about that. But right now, yeah, I wouldn't want to face that team."

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