As the 9-1 49ers prepare to face the 8-2 Packers, 8-2 Ravens, and 8-2 Saints, they could be embarking on the most difficult three-game, late-season stretch that any modern NFL team has ever endured.
Via Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com, no team in the Super Bowl era has had a trio of consecutive games against teams that have won at least 80 percent of their games this late in the season.
For that to happen, the Ravens and Saints both must maintain their winning percentage of 80 percent or more. It requires the Ravens to beat the Rams on Monday night and the Saints to beat Carolina and Atlanta over the next eight days.
If those things happen, the 49ers will indeed be the first team to face a trio of teams with winning percentages of 80 percent or more at this stage of the campaign.
Even if they don’t, the stakes are high for the 49ers over the next three games. One or two losses could increase the chances that, despite their 8-0 start, the 49ers could end up losing the NFC West to Seattle.