Maybe this whole conversation about the 49ers making the playoffs isn’t so far-fetched at all. And maybe, just maybe, it was actually a prophetic moment back in October that prompted 49ers owner Jed York to put it out there that the 0-5 49ers would win the NFC West.
OK, that last one is a big maybe. But, inexplicably, even while losing three of their last five games, York hasn’t been proved wrong just yet.
The playoff picture is great fodder, and after some checking with the good folks at NFL Headquarters, several scenarios exist in which the 49ers overtake the Rams and the Seahawks for an improbable division title. Really, what we all dismissed as laughable a month ago all of a sudden isn’t out of left field.
One such scenario is the three-way tie. The 49ers, who started 0-5 and then 1-6, would need to finish 7-9 by winning their last two games, in St. Louis and then at home against Arizona in Week 17. The Rams would finish 7-9 as a result of losing to the 49ers this week and winning in Seattle in Week 17. A Seahawks win over the Bucs this week before the season-ending loss to the Rams would put the ‘Hawks at 7-9.
In this scenario, the 49ers would be 3-1 in head-to-head matchups among the three teams at 7-9, winning the first of a series of mathematically breathtaking tie-breakers. And, if tied with either the Rams or the Seahawks, but not both, at 7-9 — it would be one or the other if both lose this week — the 49ers would advance based on tie-breaking advantages in head-to-head records and division record.
Winner, winner, NFC West dinner.
Could the 49ers win out? Is it reasonable to think the Rams lose to the 49ers, but beat the Seahawks? Absolutely on both accounts. We’ll find out if the Rams have something to say or not.
Not only would the 49ers be the first 0-5 team to make the playoffs, but the first sub.-500 division winner in NFL history. The 49ers would go from the No. 13 seed to the No. 4 seed.
So there is hope, 49ers faithful. It could be York who gets the last laugh.