The 49ers bounced back in nail-biting fashion Sunday with their 36-26 win over the Cardinals at Levi's Stadium.
San Francisco improved to 9-1 on the season after suffering its first loss of the season last week against the Seahawks. The final six weeks of the season will be extremely tough, but the 49ers still control their destiny in the NFC.
After Week 11, here is how the NFC playoff picture looks.
- San Francisco 49ers (9-1)
- Green Bay Packers (8-2)
- New Orleans Saints (8-2)
- Dallas Cowboys (6-4)
- Seattle Seahawks (8-2)
- Minnesota Vikings (8-3)
Nothing has changed in the NFC over the past two weeks regarding the playoff picture, but that doesn't mean this will be the order come January. All but one team on the 49ers' remaining schedule appear to at least be playoff hopefuls.
The 49ers and Packers will meet for an epic clash this upcoming week on "Sunday Night Football" at Levi's Stadium. A loss and Seahawks win over the Eagles would drop San Francisco out of the top spot in the NFC as a whole, and the NFC West.
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It doesn't get much easier after the Packers game, too. The 49ers still have to face the Ravens (8-2), Saints, Falcons (3-7), Rams (6-4) and Seahawks.
San Francisco has a brutal path to the playoffs but this team has shown resiliency in recent weeks. If QB Jimmy Garoppolo can continue to improve with rookie receiver Deebo Samuel emerging and the defense still one of the best in the league, the 49ers should have what it takes to push for a high seed in the NFC.
Jimmy Garoppolo balled out in the 49ers' thrilling 48-46 win over the Saints last Sunday.
For the third time this season, Garoppolo threw four touchdown passes in a game.
In guiding the 49ers to an NFC-best 11-2 record, Garoppolo has completed 69.5 percent of his passes for 3,245 yards. He's thrown 25 touchdowns to just 11 interceptions this season.
While Garoppolo's not in the MVP conversation, he's putting up solid numbers as the 49ers continue to rack up wins. But there is one anonymous NFC offensive coach that still hasn't quite bought into Garoppolo.
"I don’t think he can do it consistently, but he did it today," the coach told The Athletic's Mike Sando after the 49ers beat the Saints. "[Drew] Brees moved down the field and scored. That is what you expect. I didn’t know that Garoppolo would be able to do it, but he did it."
Sando noted that in his annual Quarterback Tiers survey, the coach in question had Garoppolo on the second tier in 2017. Last season, after Garoppolo suffered a torn ACL in Week 3, the coach moved Garoppolo down to the third tier of NFL quarterbacks.
Whether or not Garoppolo is an elite quarterback is up for debate. NBC Sports NFL analyst Chris Simms feels the 49ers quarterback is "really good," but doesn't consider him elite. But what is for certain is that Garoppolo is not a "third tier" quarterback. He doesn't have the gaudy numbers like Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson or Lamar Jackson, but Garoppolo has a 19-4 career record as a starter in the NFL. That can't be ignored.
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Garoppolo will have another chance to impress the offensive coach Sunday when the 49ers host the Falcons at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.
When the Arizona Cardinals waived veteran linebacker Terrell Suggs on Friday, 49ers fans instantly wondered if the top team in the NFC would try to claim T-Sizzle.
NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco believes Suggs would be a fit for the 49ers due to injuries to Ronald Blair, Damontre Moore and Dee Ford.
But you can lower your expectations, 49ers fans.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Saturday, citing league sources, that Suggs would "strongly consider not reporting if a team other than the Baltimore Ravens claims him."
Suggs spent the first 16 years of his NFL career in Baltimore, so it's understandable that the Ravens are the only team he wants to play for.
While it appears Suggs won't be donning a 49ers' uniform, it would still make sense for the 49ers to put in a waiver claim on the 37-year-old.
Assuming Suggs gets through the 30 teams ahead of the 49ers in the waiver order, the 49ers would be wise to try to block the linebacker from going to the Ravens.
After all, the 49ers and Ravens could meet up in Super Bowl LIV, and the last thing San Francisco wants to see is T-Sizzle coming after Jimmy Garoppolo.
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And you never know. Maybe coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch can convince Suggs to play for the 49ers.
Suggs' fate will be decided Monday when teams can put in a waiver claim on him. No matter what happens, the 49ers absolutely should claim him.