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49ers could clinch the NFC West before Thanksgiving

Jim Harbaugh AP

For the San Francisco 49ers, the question isn’t if they’re going to win the NFC West, it’s how early in the season they’re going to clinch the division.

At 6-1, the 49ers are already four games ahead of the second-place 2-5 Seattle Seahawks. And it’s completely realistic to think that the 49ers could have the division wrapped up before Thanksgiving, when they visit the Ravens.

Mike Sando of ESPN.com lays out the scenario that would result in the 49ers clinching the division on November 20, and it’s not at all farfetched. The 49ers would just need to beat the Redskins, Giants and Cardinals while the Seahawks lose their next three and the Cardinals and Rams both lose two of their next three. All very doable.

The 49ers’ eight-year playoff drought is coming to an end soon.

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46 Responses to “49ers could clinch the NFC West before Thanksgiving”
  1. pacificamjr says: Oct 31, 2011 11:20 AM

    thats wonderful, but this is not a great squad. the Lions look forward to rd 2 in the playoffs!

  2. reasonsimadrunk says: Oct 31, 2011 11:20 AM

    They could then rest their starters for 6 straight weeks and be April-fresh for the playoffs. I mean, that’s what the Colts would do…

  3. kyleortonsarm says: Oct 31, 2011 11:21 AM

    Denver was 6-1 a couple years ago also. Hmmmmmmmmm

  4. Tre says: Oct 31, 2011 11:22 AM

    The only way to accomplish this is to win the next game. Then the next game. Let’s take this one game at a time.

  5. sonoco says: Oct 31, 2011 11:25 AM

    And thank you Rams for handing the Saints a conference loss yesterday. That will help us clinch at least a #2 playoff seed come December.

  6. grninerfan says: Oct 31, 2011 11:27 AM

    We look forward to another chance to expose the Lions on national TV. Everyone discounts the Niners but all we do is play great defence and run the ball. The niners will go deep into the playoffs and IF Detroit is there we’ll be ready.

  7. gosuhgo says: Oct 31, 2011 11:29 AM

    That division is insanely bad.

  8. thelomasbrowns says: Oct 31, 2011 11:35 AM

    And maybe he’ll be like his brother and be a flop in the playoffs too.

  9. 2ndaryinsanity says: Oct 31, 2011 11:37 AM

    The way this season is unfolding, the 49er’s are almost certainly going to be division champs (in order for them to lose the division, wouldn’t they have to pretty much lose every game AND have Seattle,St Louis, or Arizona win almost every game?) File that one under “Not gonna Happen.” So, 49er’s are playing good ball and the other division teams are stinking it up.

    Another team that should take advantage of a horrible division is the Texans. The Colts and Jag’s have no quarterback to speak of, but at least the Jag’s have a good defense. The Titans could sneak up on the Texans,but probably won’t. If the Texans find a way to screw themselves out of being the AFC-South champ (a possible scenario given their history of finding creative ways to lose games they should win), Gary Kubiak MUST be fired!
    This is his 6th year, and the Texans have had 1 winning season. It’s “put up, or shut up” time!

  10. mezter says: Oct 31, 2011 11:43 AM

    The Niners are doing a great job. Keep it up, your fans are proud of you. Haters are always going to hate, but those who have followed this team for years, know that something special is happening this year.

  11. truthpwns says: Oct 31, 2011 11:46 AM

    #1 defense, top flight special teams and and a power running, ball control offense that rarely turns the ball over. that right there is a recipe for championships.

  12. thedisbackindtown says: Oct 31, 2011 11:51 AM

    I hope the 49ers fall flat on their donkey! That are not as good as everyone thinks they are!! They are in a sucky division

  13. novarito24 says: Oct 31, 2011 11:51 AM

    like good o’ jimmy says “Who’s Got it better the us?”

  14. sfwillis52 says: Oct 31, 2011 11:54 AM

    pacificamjr says:
    Oct 31, 2011 11:20 AM
    thats wonderful, but this is not a great squad. the Lions look forward to rd 2 in the playoffs!
    ___________________________________
    You really are delusional. Niners have the top defense in the league halfway through the season. We are tied for most turnovers per game in the league. We are 2nd in turnover ratio in the league. We are 6th ranked offense in the league. 3 of our 6 wins came against winning teams, plus the Eagles. 5 of our 6 wins were out of the divison. Our only loss came in OT. We haven’t lost on the road. And we have proven we can come back from a huge deficit when we were down by 20 points against the Eagles.

  15. mistersmith22 says: Oct 31, 2011 11:57 AM

    …or next week Alex Smith dislocates an elbow and Patrick Willis tears up a knee, and that’s it as Colin Kaepernick closes out the season 2-7. But then again, that’s be 8-8, and playing .500 football is more than it takes to win the NFC West. So I guess you got it right, book it, Division Champs.

  16. brooklynniner19 says: Oct 31, 2011 12:09 PM

    It’s been a LONGGGGG time coming but our 9ers are going to be playing in a playoff game. Don’t wake me up from.my dream!! I can see them with that bye week as while when playoff time comes along. ;%

  17. marcsasharc says: Oct 31, 2011 12:09 PM

    haters!!! hahah eat it up.

    what does their weak division have to do with how good they are?

  18. Tre says: Oct 31, 2011 12:34 PM

    Weak division has nothing to do with your record when you’ve only played one game in the division. Hating without proper facts is just plain sad.

  19. rickthefactor says: Oct 31, 2011 12:36 PM

    @thedisbackindtown

    How are they not as good as everybody thinks? Frank Gore has 4 100 yard rushing games in a row and ranks 5th in the league for rush yards. Big come from behind wins against some of the stronger teams in the NFC. The #1 run defense in the NFL. 22 sacks and 9 interceptions. A rookie who has 7 sacks and will probably be the defensive rookie of the year. Oh and btw they have only played one division game so far. Go find another team to hate on!

  20. andre504 says: Oct 31, 2011 12:37 PM

    @thedisbackindtown:I hope the 49ers fall flat on their donkey! That are not as good as everyone thinks they are!! They are in a sucky division
    ——————————————————
    I think that is funny that for one, I do not know what team you are a fan of (most likely a SEACHICKEN fan or LIONS fan) or you think our 6-1 record is a fluke. Do you realize that the 9ers are 3-0 on the road (all Eastern games) and have only played 1 division game? And in this “sucky” division, teams from this division have beaten other “good teams” in the playoffs the past few years. Keep hating, go 9ers!

  21. brucesf49 says: Oct 31, 2011 12:40 PM

    I’m getting really tired of people pointing to how weak our division is to explain the 49ers record. They have only played 1 divisional game so far. On top of that 3 out of 6 wins have been on the road. We still have home games against Stl and Arz we are likely to win…coin toss the rest and we are at 11-5 or 12-4.

  22. dirtyjersey9er says: Oct 31, 2011 12:42 PM

    @thedisbackintown

    How is the 49ers recent success a product of being in the NFC West when only 1 of their 6 wins have been vs the West. Still got 5 more vs division opponents.

  23. bozosforall says: Oct 31, 2011 12:48 PM

    mistersmith22 says:
    Oct 31, 2011 11:57 AM
    …or next week Alex Smith dislocates an elbow and Patrick Willis tears up a knee, and that’s it as Colin Kaepernick closes out the season 2-7. But then again, that’s be 8-8, and playing .500 football is more than it takes to win the NFC West. So I guess you got it right, book it, Division Champs.

    __
    Or Aaron Rodgers tears up a knee and the defending champs are screwed. Or Ben Roethlisberger tears up a knee and the Steelers are screwed. Or Tom Brady tears up a knee and…oh wait, the Pats still went 11-5 using a different system QB…so nevermind on that last one.

    Injuries happen to every team, moron.

  24. jvibottomline says: Oct 31, 2011 1:03 PM

    Niners have been RIPPING up the LEAGUE not their division. They are the BEST TEAM IN THE NFL, just watch.

  25. marcsasharc says: Oct 31, 2011 1:07 PM

    id venture to say that the 9ers are probably the only good team that could lose their starting QB and may not miss much of a beat. cant say the same for GB, NE, Pit, NYG, Det, NO, SD, CIN and HOU.

    and some of those teams would fall flat on their face, a la Indianapolis. cough, New Orleans, cough New England :)

  26. ownbay says: Oct 31, 2011 1:12 PM

    Harbaugh coach of the year.

  27. southpaw2k says: Oct 31, 2011 1:17 PM

    I’m not sure if we should crown Jim Harbaugh as Coach of the Year or Magician of the Year for making Alex Smith a competant quarterback in the league. It’s not like the 49ers are winning in spite of Smith’s play or anything.

  28. jdbaker01 says: Oct 31, 2011 1:22 PM

    Is it too late for the Phins to hire Harbaugh?

  29. ddjesus says: Oct 31, 2011 1:26 PM

    jvibottomline October 31, 2011, 1:03 PM EST

    Niners have been RIPPING up the LEAGUE not their division. They are the BEST TEAM IN THE NFL, just watch.
    __________________

    Ahem, the Packers would like a word with you.

  30. johnnyshore says: Oct 31, 2011 1:31 PM

    “id venture to say that the 9ers are probably the only good team that could lose their starting QB and may not miss much of a beat. cant say the same for GB, NE, Pit, NYG, Det, NO, SD, CIN and HOU.”

    Great point marcsasharc, while Smith actually has played pretty good this year, and has a solid qb rating above 90, they really haven’t had to rely on him only to win games. Their defense can shut down anyone and Gore is having a career year. Most of the other teams you listed have super star or star quarterbacks, and I think we can all agree that Smith is not a star. While they most definitly would be worse off without him, Kaep could probably manage enough games to still put them in the playoffs because of how great the rest of the team is.

  31. mmsierra says: Oct 31, 2011 1:39 PM

    Great start, but…

    I’m just a little worried…

    How long is DE Ray Mcdonald gonna be out ?
    We don’t have a lot of depth on the DL
    Is Dobbs the rpelacement ??

  32. dgleighton says: Oct 31, 2011 1:39 PM

    marcsasharc says: Oct 31, 2011 1:07 PM

    id venture to say that the 9ers are probably the only good team that could lose their starting QB and may not miss much of a beat. cant say the same for GB, NE, Pit, NYG, Det, NO, SD, CIN and HOU.

    and some of those teams would fall flat on their face, a la Indianapolis. cough, New Orleans, cough New England :)

    ______________________________________

    As a Seahawks fan I’d like to say I wish we had a “Starting Quarterback” to lose!!!!!!!!!

  33. seahawks4alltime says: Oct 31, 2011 1:48 PM

    The Seahawks may not be a good team this year, but there is no way we are going to lose to the Rams on Monday night football. And the 49ers have plenty of opportunities to lose. I am guessing the 49ers will win the division but not as soon as you all are predicting.

  34. pwillis52 says: Oct 31, 2011 1:53 PM

    It’s about damn time…

    … we’ve been ignored in the news and SportsCenter all year.

    Sneaky good seasons are my favorite seasons.

  35. ramofsteel says: Oct 31, 2011 1:55 PM

    Good story for the 49ers. Let’s just wait before crowning them…they have had a very easy schedule handed to them, facing the Seahawks, Browns, Bucs, and Bengals. Good wins against Philly and the Lions. STill gotta face the Giants, Steelers, and Ravens. Plus going to Washington isn’t exactly a gimme either. And the Rams hopefully have woken up so those games won’t be easy.

    Rams had to face Philly, New York, Baltimore, Washington, Green Bay, Dallas, and New Orleans all in a row…

  36. time2speakup says: Oct 31, 2011 2:14 PM

    I have ridden the Niner Roller Coaster since 1957 – and am having one hell of a ride now. I say to everybody, “Welcome – get on board” – or get run over.

  37. maryannwiththeshakyhands says: Oct 31, 2011 2:15 PM

    What time of year does hell freeze over? The Browns will be clinching a playoff berth then.

  38. tialen says: Oct 31, 2011 2:19 PM

    Ok, I’m a seahawk fan, and this ‘get a qb’ talk is just nonsense. The 9r’s are winning with one of the worst QB’s from last year.

    A lot of this comes down to coaching, and ours is sorely lacking at the moment.

  39. 4t9er says: Oct 31, 2011 2:33 PM

    Steelers Opponents: 24-30
    Packers Opponents: 20-32

    49ers Opponents: 26-24

  40. ninersforlife15 says: Oct 31, 2011 3:08 PM

    Yea I would love to see round 2 with the Lions. In San Francisco, with the 49ers same defense, without the noise from Ford Field, no 120 yards of penalties, and praying that the Lions don’t choke until then. Suh has got about 3 months before he gets destroyed again. After that 49er-Lions game, Suh is overhyped!

  41. schmitty2 says: Oct 31, 2011 3:16 PM

    seahawks4alltime says:
    Oct 31, 2011 1:48 PM
    The Seahawks may not be a good team this year, but there is no way we are going to lose to the Rams on Monday night football. And the 49ers have plenty of opportunities to lose. I am guessing the 49ers will win the division but not as soon as you all are predicting.

    No way the Hawks will lose to the Ram’s?? Care to explain how you know that for sure buddy?

  42. zerohandicapper says: Oct 31, 2011 3:58 PM

    Lets go Niners! Lifelong Niners fan and lifelong Indianapolis resident. Its nice to see a good team playing!

  43. niners1986 says: Oct 31, 2011 4:25 PM

    So the bengals at 5-2 and the browns with one of the best defenses aren’t good teams now? And yup watch them beat the giants and ravens than finally haters can go shut up somewhere. Lions are def overrated. Haven’t beat anyone. Can’t wait till packers put the lions in their place. Just like the niners did in Detroit! That crowd ain’t gonna be much help I’m sf.

  44. sf49erguy says: Oct 31, 2011 4:56 PM

    How Sweet It Is!!!!!

  45. niner4life69 says: Nov 1, 2011 10:48 PM

    I so tired of hearing that the niners only have their winning record because they are in a bad division. They are 6-1 and have played one division game. What the hell bearing is that record on quality of opponents in the division? Haters need to lay off the retard juice!

  46. sanfranatic49er says: Nov 2, 2011 9:46 AM

    Who’s got it better than us? Nobody!!!

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