Looking at both teams schedules, it’s fair to say they both had relatively easier schedules the first half of the season. We have seen both of these organizations fall victim to strong divisional teams. With the Patriots losing to the Ravens on November 3rd by a score of 37-20 and the 49ers taking their first loss to Seattle 27-24 in Week 10. This proved something we all knew, both teams were and are beatable.
The SF 49ers have found themselves in a comparable situation. Undoubtedly, this team is the most improved in the NFL. From their 4-12 record in 2018 to having one of the best records in the league, we must give Kyle Shanahan and his defense major credit. That front 4 on defense can be lethal. But similarly that offense can be very inconsistent. We see glimpses of hope in their run game and some decent passes by Jimmy Garoppolo. But what we all want to know is, are they for real? Can they withstand the talented teams on the back half of their schedule? They’re struggling with injuries but so is every team in the league. We can’t ignore the elephant in the room that there’s a big question mark around Jimmy G. He has shown to panic and be turn-over prone in difficult situations. The lack of receiver depth does not help his case. There are solid teams in the NFC that can stop their run game and power punch with a pass rush which proved to be Jimmy’s kryptonite in their loss to the Seahawks. It’s important to note that the defensive line can only do so much especially when faced with a running quarterback.
Both 9-1 teams have started to show us who they are as their schedules have toughened up. There are some highly competitive teams with worse records but that are playing better, more balanced football. 2 of these teams, the Baltimore Ravens and the Seattle Seahawks, have proved that you don’t need to have the best record in the NFL to beat the best team or even “be” the best team.