Whether it be injuries or missed opportunities, just about everything has gone wrong for the 49ers this season. But somehow, someway, San Francisco remains in the playoff hunt.
Everything changes with a loss against the Los Angeles Rams this week, though. This is a must-win game -- just ask Jerry Rice.
"I'm calling it right now, that game is a playoff game," Rice said Monday morning on 95.7 The Game "The Morning Roast." "That's the way the Niners have to look at that game coming up."
The 49ers enter Sunday with a 4-6 record, which has them last in the NFC West. They're also the current 11-seed in the NFC, but they're far from eliminated from playoff contention. The Rams are 6-3 going into their Monday night contest with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and 49ers fans have to be rooting for Tom Brady and Co. in this one.
This isn't the first time these two have faced each other this season. The 49ers actually beat the Rams, 24-16, in Week 6 at Levi's Stadium. Jimmy Garoppolo, George Kittle, Raheem Mostert and Deebo Samuel all suited up for the 49ers in that win. Garoppolo and Kittle will be out this upcoming Sunday, while coach Kyle Shanahan is hopeful Mostert and Samuel can return after missing several games to injury.
For Rice, it all starts with the 49ers' run game, which gets a huge boost when Mostert is available.
"I think the most important thing for Kyle Shanahan right now is to get that running game going," Rice said. "He has to get that going, and the efficiency of the offensive line. They have to get that going. Then when you think about Nick Mullens, they have to put him in a position where he can win."
No matter who is on the field for the 49ers, one thing is clear: They have to win to keep their season alive.
"This is a rival, it's time to go right now," Rice said. "If you don't make a stand right now, it's pretty much -- it's over."