San Francisco 49ers: NFL 2nd Pick Within Reach If Things Go Just Right
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Usually if week 17 is very important to a team, the playoffs are on the line. The 49ers post-season hopes faded with a loss to the St. Louis Rams and their star rookie QB Sam Bradford on Sunday. The possibility of a pick as high as #2 looms where names like Ryan Mallet, Jake Locker and Cam Newton bring hope of a better future.
This is a week of good news starting with Mike Singletary departure and the end of Gore up the middle plays that were predictable and ineffective. Eddie DeBartolo has been hired as a consultant for hiring the next GM, which will take place before a coach is considered. Many of the pieces are in place, but an upgrade at QB is mandatory
Here is how that can happen.
The 49ers Best Bet To Not Have to See This Again Next Year
This season can have a silver lining if it leads us to the draft and this very important weekend for "9er Nation". At 5-10, there are 12 other teams hovering in our range of 5-11 or 6-10. Depending on how this weekend plays out, the 49ers could have the #2 pick in the draft or as low as #11.
There are 3 teams with tougher strength of schedules sitting at 4-11: Buffalo, Cincinnati and Denver. 5-10 teams are: 49ers, Browns, Cardinals, Cowboys, Lions, and Texans, all play teams that don't effect the upper portion of the draft.
Here are 12 twelves that need to go right for us to be best positioned.
1. Carolina Will Pick Andrew Luck With The First Pick
Those few meager wins that San Francisco was able to record has put them out of the running for the top prize in this years draft. Sadly, the 49ers are one of only two wins that Carolina has managed.
2. Chicago Bears Vs. Green Bay Packers: Go Bears!
All based on what may be flawed understanding of strength of scheduling:
The 49ers and Seahawks played all the same teams this year, except Seattle played Chicago and the New York Giants. San Francisco played Philadelphia and Green Bay. This is in case of a needed tie breaker with the Seahawks, but hopefully unnecessary.
3. New York Giants Vs. Washington Redskins: Go Giants!
The 49ers hold the strength of schedule advantage over the Redskins, so this continues as rooting for a team in case of a tie with the Seahawks, in other words - low priority. The SOS advantage also is why Tennessee and Minnesota are not mentioned here.
4. Seattle Seahawks Vs St. Louis Rams: Go Seahawks!
It's hard to root for someone else to win your division. In most cases, if its not you, it doesn't matter. Because of the close records, it would be better for the 9ers to see Seattle win the West as it would move them to 7-9 and San Francisco up at least one draft position. A Seahawks win also negates needing to root for Chicago and the Giants.
5. Houston Texans Vs Jacksonville Jaguars: Go Texans!
If San Francisco played as they were expected to play, there wouldn't be a conversation. Here is hoping for the final game of the season, Houston can play as they were expected to this year.
6. Detroit Lions Vs Minnesota Vikings: Go Lions!
In Megatron we trust. One more game to show how much they have moved on from last years horrible season and have started a new chapter in their history. Minnesota short handed on short rest is a winnable match up.
7. Dallas Cowboys Vs Philadelphia Eagles: Go Cowboys!
With Vick likely to sit out this finale, the Cowboys have a chance. Jon Kitna has performed well, and picked it up after rough games. In the end Kitna is better than Stephen McGee, but a long shot is a shot.
8. Cleveland Browns Vs Pittsburgh Steelers: Go Browns!
Polamalu is out, that helps. Some. Hillis didn't have his best game against the Steelers earlier in the year, so he's due. All that said, this one is unlikely. That is why with the double dose of fandom anything is possible.
9. Denver Broncos Vs San Diego Chargers: Go Broncos
Believe in the power of Tebow. He will set the righteous free! That and he leads the pack of the must win games on the drive to get the second pick. At 4-11 the next three teams need to win or 5 is the new 2. Tebow has shown some magic lately and lucky for them the banged up Chargers are officially out of the playoffs.
10. Buffalo Bills Vs New York Jets: Go Bills!
For a while the Fitzpatrick show was fun, but didn't produce wins. In the second half that changed, for them, but 5 wins is achievable with a Jets team that has looked shaky lately.
11. Cincinati Bengals Vs Baltimore Ravens: Go Bengals!
In Palmer's first game since turning 31 on Monday, all 49er fans should wish him the happiest of birthdays and the best of luck. This one doesn't look good for them, but Carson does need a nice game to remind the league of his value.
12. San Francisco 49ers Vs Arizona Cardinals: Go Cardinals!
The San Francisco 49ers cannot beat the Arizona Cardinals. This is the most important game of the season and a win here will destroy our hope for most, if not all, of the top QBs in the draft.
The saddest time is rooting against your own team. This is sadder. This is rooting hard against your team. And doing so for a bad team that shouldn't win. But with a new GM, coach and QB I don't see why the 49ers won't win their division next year and for the foreseeable future. A loss helps that dream become a reality.
Options, Options, Options
At the end of the day no pick is a sure thing. Alex Smith reminds 9er fans of that every day. What a high pick does is presents options. Top QBs such as Ryan Mallet, Jake Locker and Terrelle Pryor can be discussed all off season (and possible lock out) keeping hope alive for a restoration of glory in San Fran. On to the name left off this list...
The Next Great 49er Quarterback!
Cam Newton is the player that I want on the 49ers. Of course that is now. #2 means thinking about all the possibilities. The lower the pick, the more nervous energy hoping that player x will drop, or how you could talk yourself into player y as x will of course get picked by team z. In hopes of a pleasant off season, here is to hoping all the 49ers teams win this weekend.