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' Week 14 opponent, Washington, officially says farewell to criticized 'Redskins' name

By David Bonilla
20 hrs ago

Eighty-seven years of Washington's use of the often-criticized and offensive moniker "Redskins" is over. The team has officially announced that, moving forward, it will be known by a different name. What that name will be hasn't been made public, reportedly because of pending trademark issues. Washington is working to establish a new team name before the start of the 2020 season. Editor's note: Once Washington's new name is announced, bear with us as we attempt to change the various instances of the former team name throughout this site. ESPN reported on Sunday night that an announcement was coming. "Today, we are announcing we

Read the Full Article


49ers Offense Will Be Even Better in 2020

By Gilbert Brink
Jun 30, 2020

In 2019, the 49ers fielded one of the very best offenses in the NFL. Come this fall, the 49ers offense will be even better. This past season the 49ers ranked 4th in the league in total yards, 2nd in the league in rushing yards and 2nd in the league in points per game. Truth be told, there isn't much room for improvement. Or is there? While they could only improve slightly in league ranking, they certainly can improve in terms of overall production heading into Kyle Shanahan's fourth year as head coach/offensive play-caller. In Super Bowl 54 it was apparent that the 49ers needed just a little bit more. Clinging to a 20-10 lead with just over 7 minutes to go, the 49ers failed to answer the bell rung by Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. With these few key changes made

Read the Full Article


How Kyle Shanahan's Seven-Man Protections Work in the 49ers' Offense

By Bret Rumbeck
Jul 2, 2020

The seven-man pass protection in today's NFL seems a little foreign, considering how much the tight end position has evolved over the last 20 years. Today's hybrid tight end, a man built from DNA spliced from a sprinter, basketball player and professional wrestler, has an integral role in the passing attack. A generation ago, San Francisco 49ers tight end Brent Jones finished his career averaging 36.3 receiving yards per game. Flash twenty-five years in the future and tight end George Kittle is averaging 65.4 yards per game over his first three seasons. Head coach Kyle Shanahan's system is firmly rooted in the West Coast Offense, even mimicking some of Bill Walsh's old

Read the Full Article

Featured

More Featured Stories

More by David Bonilla

All Articles by David Bonilla

More Articles

All Articles
Share 49erswebzone