Welcome to the cover32 49ers mailbag, appearing every Wednesday.
Will the 49ers make the playoffs? — Geoff, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Scott J. Adams: Always good to start with an “easy” one … Yes, I’m fairly certain the 49ers will still be playing in January. They could really use a victory though against the Seahawks on Sunday, as difficult as that will be.
While the NFC West title appears out of the question for San Francisco, and a wild-card berth is no sure bet either. If the 49ers lose Sunday, they could fall into a three-way tie with the Cardinals and Eagles for the sixth and final playoff spot. San Francisco beat Arizona in Week 6 and will visit University of Phoenix Stadium on Dec. 29 to end the season. So the 49ers’ fate is in their hands as far as getting the tie-breaker over the Cardinals.
The Eagles, or whoever finishes second in the NFC East (Dallas and Philadelphia are both 7-5), could be a problem. The 49ers don’t play the Eagles or Cowboys this year, so a head-to-head tie-breaker is out. The next ones are “best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference” and “best won-lost-tied percentage in common games, minimum of four.”
San Francisco, Dallas and Philadelphia play their final four games against NFC opponents. As of today, San Francisco is 5-3 in conference play. Philadelphia and Dallas are 6-2.
Luckily for the 49ers, their final three opponents — Tampa Bay (away), Atlanta (home), Arizona (away) — are a combined 13-23. And we all know how good San Francisco is at beating bad teams.
Does (offensive coordinator) Greg Roman need to go? — Matt, Beaverton, Ore.
Scott J. Adams: Romanhas taken the fall for more of Colin Kaepernick’s struggles. And Kaepernick has taken the fall for most of the 49ers’ struggles at wide receiver. It’s a vicious cycle.
Many a 49ers fan were calling for Roman’s head after the back-to-back losses to Carolina and New Orleans in November. But lo and behold, the complainers have quieted down now that the Niners have won two straight in impressive fashion. Mario Manningham and Michael Crabtree are back, and Kaepernick’s passing numbers are on the rise.
With the receiving corps healthy, these last four regular-season games, and presumably the playoffs, will tell the 49ers front office all it needs to know as far as holding or folding Roman.
@cover32_SF do you like kaep or would you rather have a different qb?
— #DamnAliens (@DAMN_ALIENS) December 5, 2013
Scott J. Adams: He’s in his second year as a starter and coming off leading — yes, leading — the 49ers to their first Super Bowl appearance in almost two decades. He has a canon for an arm, runs like an ostrich and plays at an elite level when he has a decent supporting cast around him. While he still needs to improve with his checkdowns, his potential remains off the chart.
What’s not to like?
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