A third of the way through the NFL season and the 49ers sit at 3-3. Not ideal by any stretch, but considering the losses of their starting QB, RB, LB3, CB2, FS, LT, and interior defenders, it can be viewed positively. This team is deep at nearly every position. Still, it is hard to navigate with this many impactful losses.
The NFC has some surprises sitting at the top of the conference. The top three teams are Philadelphia, the New York football Giants, and Minnesota Vikings. Just how we all drew it up. The Dallas Cowboys sit right behind in the fourth spot with a 4-2 record. Dak Prescott returns this Sunday. After that, it’s a jumble of 3-3 teams that include the Packers, 49ers, Rams, Seahawks, Falcons, and Bucs.
This conference is going to go down to the wire for the final playoff spots. Six weeks is a large enough sample size to assess teams and take a glimpse into the future. The 49ers are right in the thick of things, but what makes them so intriguing is the reinforcements on the way. The same cannot be said for many of the other 3-3 teams. They are what they are.
The offense continues to be the biggest question mark for the 49ers. When will it click? What is the overarching problem? I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. It boils down to execution. Cliches such as: “being close” or “about to turn the corner” are tossed around. While I agree with those notions, at what point does optimism turn into concern/worry?
The defense has been stellar. Jason Verrett will be asked to do the heavy lifting to cement this starting cornerback duo. What once was a luxury with Verrett has turned into a flat-out need. Jimmie Ward returning to action is a huge addition. Nick Bosa looks to return to action Sunday, and some would say he’s pretty good at football. Trent Williams inches closer to returning and protecting Jimmy Garoppolo’s blind side.
The Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Rams are next on the schedule, followed by a much-needed bye week. 4-4 would be reasonable to expect while getting the roster healthy and rolling for the stretch run. 3-3 through six weeks puts the 49ers on a nine-total-win pace.
Given the reinforcements of impact players, the offense is close to breaking out, and this stellar defense. It’s easy to see the 49ers totaling 10 wins which, as of now, could win the NFC West — which is what the 49ers were predicted to win before the season began.
Sure, you don’t want to be optimistic because of the underachieving NFC and west division. At this point, it is what it is. 10 wins gets you in the dance. You can’t ask for more than that.