After watching the San Francisco 49′ers drop the New Orleans Saints out of the playoffs yesterday with a 36-32 victory I came to two conclusions. One, the Saints will wish for someone else other than the NFC West on the road in future years and two, the Niners have the ability to make a playoff run like the Arizona Cardinals did three years ago.
The Arizona Cardinals had a little bit of a different path mind you, even though they, like the Niners, won the NFC West. The Niners didn’t have to pay Wild-Card weekend with their bye. They did get their first game at home though. So did the Cardinals. The Niners may have to go on the road next week depending on the outcome of today’s New York Giants-Green Bay Packers game. The Cards went on the road and won as well in those 2009 playoffs.
Whether at home or away though, the Niners have the ability to win the NFC Championship Game next week and then make noise at the Super Bowl. The NFC West still has a away to go for full respectability in the NFL, but let’s face it, if the Niners go to the Super Bowl, that will make two NFC West teams in the Super Bowl in the last four Super Bowls. It will also mean all four NFC West teams have been in the Super Bowl in the last ten years. They may not win a lot in the regular season, but they know how to win when it counts. Don’t forget, the Seattle Seahawks also beat the Saints in last years playoffs after going 7-9 in the regular season.
Of course this years Niners started to build the consistent winning in the regular season with 13 wins, losing only three. Two of those three losses were to a possible Super Bowl opponent Baltimore Ravens, and to the Arizona Cardinals, where anything can happen in a divisional game.
The Niners have a legitimate shot so pay attention.