Like a splash of cold water hitting them on the back, the 49ers were taken by surprise prior to their matchup with the Rams when they found out they could no longer continue operations in Santa Clara County.
For the next three weeks, the 49ers will call Arizona their "home".
On the surface, this seems like a massive disadvantage for the 49ers. They no longer have the comfort of being able to go to their regular homes like the rest of the teams and will not be playing games at Levi's Stadium. Such a bizarre week like this for the 49ers is something that could derail them.
However, I believe that the 49ers playing in Arizona could benefit them.
For starters, homefield advantage this season is a myth. Even for the teams that have a small crowd in the stands, it hardly makes a difference. The only real disadvantage that hasn't changed is when west coast teams have to play on the east coast with a 10 a.m. PST start time.
In the 49ers' case, they are actually a better team on the road record-wise. They have lost every game at Levi's Stadium this season outside of their Week 6 matchup with the Rams. Perhaps playing at State Farm Stadium will give them that "road" feeling to perk them up for their games.
But I think what this all comes down to is the players and coaches being agitated that they had to abruptly move to Arizona. That annoyance, that anger they are feeling can fuel them.
Not only that, they can become more focused and be without distractions. Even if their families join them, the 49ers are essentially in a bubble like the NBA. And like the NBA, there were teams who had no business going as far as they did in the playoffs. The 49ers are a great, but hurt team. The time being in Arizona could be the boost they need.
Now this team can just put all of their focus into practice, preparation and their games. I am not saying that was never the case, but now there is no question as to why they cannot do all of this at their maximum potential.
How I see it, it's like when I used to go to coffee shops to write these articles instead of staying at home or being in a newsroom. Just being in an isolated or uncharted place can really hunker a person down to focus and cut any potential distractions. Not that I am trying to compare myself to anyone in the NFL, of course, but anytime people can avoid distractions, their work will always benefit.
So do not be surprised if the 49ers start looking like they have an extra chip on their shoulder.