Things have gone from bad to worse for the 49ers and head coach Jim Harbaugh’s attitude may have something to do with it.
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When teams get to the point where players guarantee playoff berths midway through the season (with a .500 record or worse), it’s usually a sign that bad things are happening and they need to overcome them. That is more true for the San Francisco 49ers than maybe any other team with a decent record as the team is suffering through their 2nd two-game losing streak of the season. Injuries, poor QB play and alleged troubles in the locker room stemming from head coach Jim Harbaugh’s intense coaching style and non-commitment to staying with the team in 2015 have all contributed in their own ways.
With a tough road game against a Saints team that is unbeaten at home, the 49ers need to right the ship immediately to avoid falling into a hole in the NFC that’s too big for them to climb out of. The 49ers have been to the NFC Championship game and the playoffs in each of the first three seasons under Harbaugh, and missing out on it again may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
Here are the five teams with the most to lose in Week 10 of the NFL season:
San Francisco 49ers – The 49ers have a habit of getting tough road wins against teams that play well in their own stadium, which makes beating the Saints in the Superdome one of the biggest challenges the 49ers have this year outside of Seattle. If they lose here, things could start falling apart at the seams.
Chicago Bears – With a road game against the Packers, the Bears will need to throw everything including the kitchen sink to overcome Aaron Rodgers incredible passing attack – and the Bears defense isn’t likely to give much help. If the Bears offense is as strong as people say it is, they need to wake up in this one.
Dallas Cowboys – The odds of the team losing to Jacksonville are extremely low, but the team has struggled mightily in games where Tony Romo isn’t 100%. Even if they don’t lose, a weak performance against this team would cause a lot of panic in the Cowboys organization.
Philadelphia Eagles – The Mark Sanchez-era in Philadelphia begins on Monday Night and this game will determine as much as any other game before December whether they have an answer at QB for the inconsistency of Nick Foles. A close win makes the decision complicated. A loss makes the decision much much much more complicated.
Kansas City Chiefs – The Chiefs have fought hard to get back into the 2nd place spot in the AFC West – but mostly from within the confines of their own stadium. Now they have to go on the road to face a Bills team that is playing just as well and is equally hungry for a chance to overtake the division-leading juggernaut.