San Francisco 49ers Sent To 0-4, Still in Hunt for NFC West in Bizarre Season

Joseph BurkeyAnalyst IOctober 4, 2010

The up-hill first quarter of the 2010 season has not bee kind to Mike Singletary and the 49ers
The up-hill first quarter of the 2010 season has not bee kind to Mike Singletary and the 49ersKevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers lost another heart breaker, 14-16 against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday to bring their record to 0-4.

In a bizarre twist, however, the ailing team is only two games out of first place in the NFC West.

That's right. Don't look now, but the division is currently being led by a three-way tie between the Seattle Seahawks, the Arizona Cardinals, and yes, the St. Louis Rams.

At 0-4, the 49ers are still keeping miserable company with the rest of the league's basement boys: the Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions, and Carolina Panthers.

In fact, the Kansas City Chiefs, who had a bye this week, remain as the NFL's only unbeaten team at 3-0.

Nobody wants a sugar-coated turd, but at the season's first-quarter mark, the 49ers are still in it.

In the next four weeks, San Francisco faces a rather confused Philadelphia Eagles team next Sunday night at home, then the Oakland Raiders (again at Candlestick), the Carolina Panthers at Charlotte, and then the Denver Broncos at Wembley Stadium in England.

If the team's second quarter of the season goes as well as the first one was awful, they can head into their bye week at 4-4 and looking for more.

They then come off their bye week to face the St. Louis Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Candlestick. After those home games, they'll travel to Arizona to play the Cardinals, before their date with the Packers at Lambeau. Realistically, they can (yes, CAN) still find themselves at 7-5 heading into the home stretch.

The final games of the season include Seattle at home, a trip down to San Diego, a visit to St. Louis, and the season finale when the Cardinals visit The Stick.

So with five looming divisional matchups, the 49ers are somehow still very much in charge of their own destiny.

This best-case scenario starts with one stinking victory, however, and that's a feat which has eluded them—throughout the entire first quarter of the 2010 season.