After scoring a total of ten points in the Niner’s two losses, (against Seattle and the Colts), the 6-2 Niners are now averaging almost 35 points per game during their five-game winning steak. (34.8 to be exact)
However, not one team that the Niners defeated in this streak is over .500, (with Arizona at 4-4, and the rest under water). After a well deserved bye week, the Niners will play a possible 5-3 team (in Candlestick) against the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers play at home against a fading Atlanta Falcons team, (currently at 2-5), while the Niners rest. It would be a serious mistake to take the Panthers lightly.
It gets a little tougher the next two weeks, as the Niners go on the road, first into New Orleans, (6-1 and could be 8-1 when they meet), and then into Washington against an unpredictable Redskins team, (currently at 2-5) The game against the Saints could certainly be a prelude to a playoff game, even perhaps an NFC Championship game.
After the road trip, the Niners play their final four out of five games against teams under .500, (Rams, @Tampa Bay, Atlanta, and @Arizona), with THE BIG ONE coming in week #14, December 8th, against our rival Seahawks at Candlestick. This one will most likely decide the division leader, home field advantage, and of course bragging rights. Bottom line---no one wants to see our Niners having to play back up in Seattle AGAIN THIS YEAR, so this is a must win for the Red and Gold.
The Forty Niners are approaching a bit of an internal dilemma these next few weeks, with players coming off the DL, (wide receivers Manningham and Crabtree, CB Eric Wright, and possibly Aldon Smith sometime soon---see link)
This means some players will have to come off the roster. Rumors of letting Anthony Dixon go, bothers me, since he is a quality player, including special teams play. We’ll see how the management does over the next few weeks.
Overall, after the disastrous 1-2 start, the 6-2 Niners have had a pretty good first half of the season with the running game now in full throttle, and Colin Kaepernick leading the NFC in QB ratings., (#3 in the entire league) It looks like they’re improving on both sides of the ball each week, and even the special teams have been solid. If they can remain healthy by December 8th, perhaps they can get some payback from the Seahawks, and set the future going into the playoffs.
Bonus question for real 49er fans: Does anyone know who McLeod Bethel-Thompson is?
Answer: Bethel-Thompson is our third string quarterback (currently inactive) behind Colt McCoy. Bethel-Thompson was picked up on Oct. 9th when he was released by the Vikings and reportedly played well in pre-season. See the full story here.
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