The NFC West may still be weak overall, but we don’t think 7-9 is going to win the division this year.
The 49ers moved to 4-1 on Sunday with a 48-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. At this point, it’s probably time to take San Francisco seriously.
They won on the road against a Bengals team that is now 3-2. They won on the road in Philadelphia. The 49ers absolutely dismantled a 3-1 Bucs team, and their only loss came in overtime against Dallas.
A lot of people expected to see Colin Kaepernick as the team’s starting quarterback by now. Instead, Kaepernick replaced Alex Smith in the fourth quarter Sunday because this was such a big blowout.
The rejuvenation of Alex Smith is a credit to Jim Harbaugh and one of the stories of the year. Smith threw for three touchdowns and 170 yards on only 19 attempts Sunday. Frank Gore ran for 125 yards, and the 49ers defense continued to look like one of the stronger groups in the league.
San Francisco still has five games left against their division. It’s early, but the rest of the NFC West has a lot of work to do because 7-9 isn’t going to get it done this year.