Go back 2 months and no one would have the Niners, packers, or the Bucs in the playoffs. But thanks to an 8 game winning streak, and the emergence of Brock Purdy, for the Niners, and a lot of sucking in the rest of the NFC, gives us this possibility. Both the Packers and Bucs are 7-8. Brady even pulled off another ‘epic’ coma-back at the hands of the Arizona Cardinals. Like the Saints game before it, AZ stumbled, bumbled, and fumbled their way all over the field while giving Brady about 76 opportunities to win late. Which they finally did. They amazingly lead the NFC South by a game over the Saints and the Carolinas.
Same thing with A-A-Ron and the Packers. 4-8 and losing to everyone, they’ve reeled off 3 straight and all the teams around them in the hunt, the NYGs, Deetroit, and Washington all lost, and they now control their destiny. Sort of. But their chances did go up from 15% to 29%. Beat the Vikes and they jump to 52%. Win out and it goes to 89%. Silly. Miami and Tua Tavailoa helped tremendously by giving the game away with 3 late picks and Rodgers went 24/38 for 238. Tua later went back into the concussion protocol as Miami’s slide from the top has been precipitous.
Thought we wouldn’t be blessed with the old school QBs, I mean come on, man. But they are hanging around. Mainstays Dak Prescott is out there winning games. As is Jalen Hurts and the ascendant Iggles. And the shit-show that is Kirk Cousins. I still don’t believe these teams are for real. Sheesh. The NFL seems to be full of a lot of mediocre teams that can win at any time, or reel off 5 losses in a row. Hello Vegas. Even THEY are still mathematically in the race. Even sillier.
The Niners? SF has clinched, and we have Brock Purdy. The biggest surprise since what, Tom Brady 21 seasons ago? Kurt Warner? Something like that. Looking at the state of the NFC, and we are starting to look like the best team. Our defense is playing at its highest level and the offense is loaded with weapons.
Much is being made of what to do going forward for the Niners, but history paints a picture of teams that let off the gas earn an early playoff exit. And I guess the impetus to get that 2nd seed is enough to push for these last 2 wins. Minnesota has the packers and Bears to close out the season. Those early losses may bite us, but that shit is ancient history and hitting the road for our 2nd playoff game wouldn’t be too onerous. But beating Washington again won’t be easy. That defense is legit. The Giants? Meh.
On the injury front, it looks like we very well could have Elijah Mitchell AND Deebo Samuel available for this playoff run. That would be most excellent.