It all comes down to week 17 for 49ers

Dec 26, 2011 at 10:35 PM0


Frank Gore, like all San Francisco 49ers fans, said that he would have a special interest in Monday night's matchup between the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons. A Saints loss would have clinched a bye week in the playoffs for San Francisco. Instead, the Saints destroyed the Falcons by the score of 45-16, won the NFC South, clinched a home playoff game, and their quarterback, Drew Brees, broke Dan Marino's single-season record for passing yards ... in impressive fashion.

The Saints look to be a dangerous playoff opponent. Very dangerous. They are the team that just will not go away in the race for the NFC's number two spot in the playoffs. With so many weapons at Brees' disposal, it will take a special defense (like San Francisco) or an equally impressive offense (like Green Bay) to stop the red hot Saints, who have now won seven straight. Home or away, the Saints are hitting their stride at the right time and will be dangerous come January.

The Saints, like the 49ers, are 12-3 on the season. However, San Francisco holds the ti-breaker because of their better conference record. In order to clinch a bye in the playoffs, the 49ers will need to beat the St. Louis Rams on the road during their final game of the season or have the Carolina Panthers beat the Saints in New Orleans. Given the unpredictability of the NFL, the 49ers will need to treat their final game like a must win playoff game, because the Saints and the Panthers play at the same time. So neither will know the result of the other's game until the very end.

One of the criticisms against San Francisco this year has been their lackluster offense. How would the team perform in a shootout against a team like the Saints or Packers? Would their 23 points per game average be enough to keep up? To make matters worse, their passing attack may not get any better. They have been without receiver Joshua Morgan for most of the season, receiver Braylon Edwards has not been Braylon Edwards, Delanie Walker, who was injured this past weekend, may not be ready to go for the playoffs, and Kyle Williams was also hurt against the Seahawks.

Only twice this season has the 49ers offense has scored 30 or more points in a game. Of the other NFC teams that have clinched playoff spots, Green Bay has had 10 such games, New Orleans has had 9, while Detroit and Atlanta have each had 6. The 49ers have only played one of those teams (a victory over Detroit) this season.

If the season ended today

If the season ended today, the Green Bay Packers (1st seed) and San Francisco 49ers (2nd seed) would have the number one and two spots locked up and would not play their first games until the weekend of January 14.

The division winners would be the New Orleans Saints (3rd seed), who would host the Atlanta Falcons (6th seed), and the New York Giants (4th seed), who would host the Detroit Lions (5th seed). The Dallas Cowboys are still in the hunt for that 4th seed spot and could win the NFC East with a win over the Giants in week 17.

Should the Saints win their first playoff game, they would travel to San Francisco while an Atlanta victory would mean a trip to Green Bay for the Falcons.

Should the NFC East champion win their first playoff game, they would travel to Green Bay with a Falcons loss. They would travel to San Francisco with a Saints loss.

Should the Lions win their first playoff game, they would travel to Green bay with a Falcons loss. They would travel to San Francisco with a Saints loss.
The views within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


0 Comments

  • No Comments

Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



49ers rookie Trey Lance on relationship with Jimmy Garoppolo: 'No awkwardness at all'

By David Bonilla
Jul 29, 2021

San Francisco 49ers rookie quarterback Trey Lance stepped up to the podium after Thursday's practice, and several of the questions he was asked naturally focused on his relationship with Jimmy Garoppolo. Lance was the No. 3 overall pick. At some point in the future, he will take over the starting quarterback job. Right now, that job belongs to Garoppolo, who is likely to be the Week 1 starter when the 49ers take the field against the Detroit Lions. Some wondered if having a veteran and his eventual successor might create some locker-room awkwardness. But, more important, would it create an awkward situation in the quarterback room? All indications so far point toward the answer being, "No." Garoppolo was the first of Lance's new



Baldinger expects Trey Lance 'to be on the field' for 49ers in Week 1

By David Bonilla
Jul 22, 2021

Having a veteran quarterback looking over his shoulder at a high-selection rookie passer is the recipe for a compelling NFL storyline. That will be one of the most talked-about storylines coming out of Santa Clara starting next week when the San Francisco 49ers report to training camp. The plan is to have Jimmy Garoppolo start Week 1 and, assuming he remains healthy, for as long as possible throughout the season. The 49ers traded up to select Lance at No. 3 overall, though, surrendering future draft capital to do so. So now, everyone is trying to figure out when we might see Lance get on the football field for some regular-season action. Brian Baldinger doesn't think fans will have to wait long. No, he is not predicting a Week 1 start. However, the NFL Network



49ers training camp practice schedule and media availability - Week 1

By Site Staff
Jul 26, 2021

Training camp is about to kick off and the San Francisco 49ers will hold four consecutive days of practice starting on Wednesday. Head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch will open the week by speaking to reporters on Tuesday, followed by select players. Defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans and offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel are also scheduled to speak during the week. The 49ers will make the press conferences available at 49ers.com, and on the team's official mobile app and YouTube page. Below



49ers' Nick Bosa on track to play Week 1; DeMeco Ryans talks plans for Fred Warner, Samson Ebukam

By David Bonilla
Jul 29, 2021

It's been a long journey back for San Francisco 49ers pass rusher Nick Bosa. He suffered a devastating knee injury during Week 2 of last season and admitted the road to recovery was often "really rough" on him mentally. Bosa was entering his second NFL season and coming off an impressive campaign that earned him NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. The injury derailed everything. Luckily, he had the support of his family, including his brother, Los Angeles Chargers edge rusher Joey Bosa. "Once you get past the initial pain of [the injury], then there's really no other option but to come back better," Bosa told reporters after Thursday's practice. The coaching staff has limited Bosa during training camp practices. The defender is vital to the


Featured

More by David Bonilla

More Articles

Share 49ersWebzone