Would a Wild Card Playoff Berth be an Underachievement for 49ers?

Jose Luis Sanchez III

The San Francisco 49ers found themselves falling from grace this week. They entered week 13 as the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoff race to falling down at No. 5 as a Wild Card. All it took was the 49ers losing to the Ravens and a Seattle win for them to drop down so far. 

Now the stakes get significantly higher for these final four games. The 49ers cannot afford a slip up or they risk losing out on a chance for a first-round bye. Given the 49ers current position: Would a Wild Card playoff berth be an underachievement for the 49ers?

Not only would a Wild Card berth be an underachievement - it would arguably be a disappointment. 

The San Francisco 49ers started the season out at 8-0. They have spent the vast majority of the season sitting atop as the No. 1 seed in the NFC. Any and all expectations that were set on the 49ers entering this season gets completely thrown out the window after that start. The 49ers have made almost every team they’ve faced look pedestrian. Just the way they have dominated has essentially ripped the soul out of the opposition. 

They have a top ranked defense and a methodical offense behind Kyle Shanahan’s genius. Not to mention that the 49ers have Pro Bowl caliber players all over since they lead all teams with votes received. Even in their two losses (which were against elite teams), the 49ers have looked like the real deal. San Francisco is easily the best, if not one of the best teams in the NFL. 

To make the playoffs as a Wild Card after having such a phenomenal season would be falling short. The 49ers would not be living up to their potential which is a massive underachievement. They would essentially be leaving food left on their dinner plate. 

I understand that the competition in the NFC is the main reason why the 49ers are sitting as a Wild Card. It is just the unfortunate circumstance that they are in. Nevertheless, that is no excuse for this team to settle for a Wild Card playoff berth. The 49ers have been the top dog in the conference from the get-go. It took a plethora of injuries and a game winning missed field goal for the 49ers to lose to Seattle. 

As for their loss to the Ravens, the odds were already against them since they flew to the east coast. Their body clocks were tampered with due to a 10am PST and it was a soaking wet game. Yet they still only loss by a field goal in the final seconds of the game.

This team has proven that they can matchup with the best in the league. And when they don’t face the best, they put the opposition in a corner that they can’t get out of. Sunday will prove whether or not the 49ers will have underachieved this season. A loss to the Saints would make clinching a first-round bye nearly out of reach.

Comments (3)
No. 1-3

great analysis. arik armstead could have jumped Jackson and probably forced a fumble but chose to jump the running back everytime they left him run free. made no sense at all. and other than the panthers game tevan hasn't been able to run at all. give the ball to raheem.


Suggestion for Lynch and Shanahan: take a chance and sign Antonio Brown. I'm well aware of his troubled history but I think he could help them reach and win the super bowl. They should have grabbed Josh Gordon that Seattle beat them to. Don't let that happen again with some other team. Take a chance!


No, at this point with the craziness of the NFC as long as you get that berth that is all that matters. Of course it is a bit of a disappointment with how amazing this season has been but getting to the super bowl no matter what path is whats important.