The 49ers toppled the Trevor-Lawrence-led Jaguars in Jacksonville 30-10 Sunday, climbing to 5-5 on the season and rekindling playoff hopes.
While the 49ers have looked much improved over the past two weeks, one must acknowledge that the only reason they are still in the playoff hunt at this point in the season, at 5-5, is due to the fact that there are a lot of mediocre teams in the NFL this year, and few great ones.
That being said, the Niners are taking care of business on their end and improving where other teams are in decline, and have put themselves in the driver's seat of their own postseason destiny.
The 49ers opened the game against the Jags early Sunday afternoon with a drive that took more than 13 minutes off of the clock, wearing down the opposing defense with a dominant display that resulted in a two-yard field goal from Robbie Gould.
Niners WR Deebo Samuel has been putting up historic numbers this year in the air and on the ground, taking the ball 25 yards on a designed rush to score the 49ers first touchdown on their following drive, on his way to 94 total yards and a TD on the day. Samuel finished the game second in the NFL with 994 total receiving yards on the season, which is the fifth-most through ten games in franchise history.
Second-year wideout Brandon Aiyuk, who some in and around the 49ers organization reported was in the doghouse with head coach Kyle Shanahan to begin the season, has begun to show more of what he flashed last year in his rookie campaign, and finished the day with seven catches on seven targets for 85 yards and a touchdown.
The Niner defense has also been playing to its potential of late and helped the team cruise to an easy victory Sunday. Pro Bowl LB Fred Warner recorded seven tackles and one fumble recovery, while Nick Bosa continued his play at DPOY level, finishing with two sacks to add to his career-best 10 total sacks on the year.
At 5-5, it’s been a season with some low lows and not very many highs, with lots of head scratching surrounding a team that many believed were one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl heading into Week 1. The 49ers have managed some good wins at Philadelphia and Chicago, while finding ways to lose tough games at home against the Packers, Colts, and Cardinals. Now, heading into Week 12, a wave of optimism seems to have replaced overwhelming feelings of disappointment that have been permeating within the team.
The Niners have missed chances to improve their record in the NFC West division that, while is still the strongest in the NFL, has not been as tough as originally expected. Dropping two games to Arizona and one to Seattle early on in the year has San Francisco sitting at third in their division, and tied for the last wildcard spot in the Western Conference with New Orleans and Minnesota, the latter of whom they face this coming Sunday in a game that could prove to decide the fate of their season.
While Vegas is predicting with 53% certainty that the 49ers will hold on to that final wild-card spot when the season ends, the margin for error is slim to none, and the 49ers can’t afford to lose many more games, if any. The 49ers will work to keep their playoff hopes alive as they get set to take on the Minnesota Vikings at Levi's Stadium this Sunday at 1:25pm PT.
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