Hopeful 49ers: There's Still Plenty of Time Left to Win The Division

Steven ResnickSenior Writer IOctober 3, 2010

ATLANTA - OCTOBER 03:  Taylor Mays #23 of the San Francisco 49ers reacts after recovering a blocked punt for a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons with Kyle Williams #10 at Georgia Dome on October 3, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers played their second best game of the season against the Atlanta Falcons, but that still doesn't matter too much as the 49ers lost another heartbreaking game as time expired. That's the second time this year the 49ers have played extremely well against two of the best teams in the NFL, the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons. 

With no wins yet the 49ers in any other division would be out of the playoff race as their are plenty of talented teams in the NFL. In the NFC West division though that's not the case, it is the worst division in football.

On top of the standings right now are two teams that combined to go 6-26. The Arizona Cardinals could also be 2-2 after tonight's game as the Cardinals taking on the San Diego Chargers who are looking to bounce back after losing to the Seahawks last week. 

So, at this point the best team in the league could arguably be 3-1 with a win over the Chargers and for the 49ers the best news would be a loss, meaning that the Cardinals fall to 2-2. What's so significant about the record being 2-2? It means that the 49ers are just two games out of first place in the NFC West 

The bad news for the 49ers is that next weeks game at home against the Philadelphia Eagles is a must win game. If the 49ers can win that game the schedule for the 49ers should allow them to get back into the division race. 

After the Eagles the 49ers take on Oakland, on the road against Carolina, in London to face Denver, then their bye week. After the bye the 49ers take on St. Louis, Tampa Bay, are at Arizona, at Green Bay, back home to play Seattle, at San Diego, at St. Louis, and finish the season up against Arizona at home. 

If the 49ers can pull out victories against Philadelphia, Oakland, and Carolina the 49ers record improves to 3-4 on the season, which still doesn't look that great. Yet, here's a look at the other NFC West teams and their upcoming schedules. 

St. Louis (2-2):

On the road against Detroit should be an interesting game, as the Lions are better than what their record projects as. At this moment it's take your pick with either team. If the Lions sneak out with a victory St. Louis will be 2-3 or if St. Louis wins will be 3-2. 

Next game for St. Louis will be at home against San Diego with a loss to Detroit and San Diego it means St. Louis will be 2-4, if St. Louis beat Detroit but loses to San Diego 3-3, and with victories over Detroit and San Diego 4-2. 

Most likely scenario is a split of those two games with St. Louis beating Detroit and losing to San Diego. Meaning a 3-3 record for St. Louis. 

St. Louis then takes on Tampa Bay for another interesting matchup as the Buccaneers have been one of the more surprising teams this year. Their only loss so far has come against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but the two wins have come against Cleveland and Carolina. 

Both teams start young quarterbacks and have defenses playing well. If St. Louis loses all three games their record moves to 2-5, if only one win 3-4, with two wins and a loss 4-3, and if St. Louis wins all three the record for St. Louis will be 5-2. 

Most likely record for St. Louis will be the 4-3 mark with wins over Detroit and Tampa Bay and a loss to San Diego. 

Arizona 2-2:

At this point in the schedule the Cardinals have a tougher schedule than St. Louis, but do have a bye week sandwiched in between the weeks.

New Orleans comes to take on the Cardinals at home, this not doubt will be another loss for the Cardinals. With that a record of 2-3 for the Cardinals, of course if the Cardinals find a way to win the record will go to 3-2.

Against most likely scenario a 2-3 record. For the Cardinals the team gets to regroup as that is their bye week. Following the bye the Cardinals take on Seattle on the road with the Seahawks having one of the loudest stadiums in all of football this game will more than likely be a loss for the Cardinals. 

So, if the Cardinals lose to the Saints and Seahawks their record falls to 2-4, with a win and a loss 3-3, and with two wins 4-2. In this case the scenario for the Cardinals will more than likely have a record of 2-4.

The third game for the Cardinals will be at home taking on the Buccaneers for the Cardinals this would be the most winnable game. Yet, if the Cardinals lose all three their record will be 2-5, lose two out of the three 3-4, win two out of the three, 4-3, and win all three 5-2.

For the Cardinals most likely record in this stretch is losing two out of the three leaving the Cardinals a record of 3-4.

Seattle (2-2)

The Seahawks describe what an up and down team is. As the Seahawks started the started the season with a convincing win over the 49ers, but then lost to the Denver 31-14, beat San Diego 27-20, and lost to St. Louis 20-3.

So, for the Seahawks it's been an interesting way to start the season look good one week and look bad the next. This coming weekend the Seahawks have a bye  week, their next game will be in Chicago. With the way things have been going for the Bears the Seahawks are more likely to come out with a loss dropping the Seahawks to 2-3. If the Seahawks do get a victory then the record will be 3-2. 

For the next game the Seahawks have it will be at home to take on a division foe the Cardinals. This should be a win for the Seahawks as their homefield advantage will keep the Cardinals off balance all game long.  If the Seahawks are to lose this game their record would fall to 2-4, with a win and a loss 3-3, and with both wins 4-2.

Mostly likely scenario for the Seahawks will be a record of 3-3.

The next game the Seahawks play will be in Oakland, which is definitely a winnable game for the Cardinals. This means though with all three losses 2-5, with two losses 3-4, winning two would be 4-3, and with winning all three 5-2.

Seahawks should have a record of 4-3 after this stretch of schedule. 

After seven decisions this is the way NFC West division could look like St. Louis 4-3, Seattle 4-3, Arizona 3-4, and the 49ers 3-4. That means even after an 0-4 start the 49ers are just a game back from the division leaders. 

Though right now it doesn't look good for the 49ers the season is far from over and the 49ers still have a chance to win the NFC West, the 49ers just need to take it a game at a time. 


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