As the 2012 season winds down, the 49ers aren’t exactly right where they want to be. The offense has been a little spotty at times, and the defense, minus Justin Smith, is struggling pretty badly. Special teams are a shambles, and the coaching staff was pretty badlyt schooled in that loss to Seattle. They are dealing with a lot of injuries, including the recently concussed Vernon Davis, Mario Manningham, and the still -healing KW and Kendall Hunter.
In other words, the injury bug couldn’t hit the team as a worse possible time. Even still, the team has a shot to secure a bye with a win over AZ, and a GB loss to Minn. Both eminently possible. Or they could fall as low as the 5th seed if the Niners lose, Sea wins, and a bunch of other weird shot happens. Sea has a shot at that bye week. How important is the bye? Well, let’s see how the team gets through the AZ game before dealing with that. More injuries to key players would likely kill their playoff run, but a week off to healthy up would do wonders to the team’s chances. More than likely, the Niners would be facing Chicago or Minn if they play the 1st weekend, or Atl if they get the bye.
AZ comes to town looking like a team that got beaten, robbed, and left for dead in a ditch on the side of the road. They beat NE on the road, and took care of biz early to go 4-0 out of the gate. Since then? 1-10. Ouch. They are in the midst of a QB merry-go-round, and their offensive line is flat terrible at pass protection. Their run game is stalled, and Larry Fitzgerald, an otherwise top 3 WR in the league, is wasting away as the QB du jour throws shit 10′ over his head, or down near his feet. Should Alex Smith hit the market, this is his likely landing spot. Granted, he’d be dodging LBs as he tries to throw, but if AZ can build a decent enough line around him, he and the team would be solid contenders in the NFC West next year.