Coming into the season, Vegas listed the San Francisco 49ers and St. Louis Rams as co-favorites to represent the NFC West in the playoffs. Now the 49ers are 5-1, and well ahead in the division. Their week six win over the Detroit Lions had to be a huge confidence booster, and going into the bye week, they've got plenty of time to reflect on their current position in the NFC West.
Their current position, as noted, is atop the division with a 5-1 record. Week six saw the Rams lose for the fifth time this year, and since they've already had their bye week, they're 0-5 with no relief in sight. Well, they did trade for Denver Broncos wide receiver Brandon Lloyd, but their problems go much, much deeper than lack of receiving options. Their week six loss to the Green Bay Packers was expected, however, so it's not as though they "underperformed" on Sunday.
The Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals both had bye weeks and got to sit back and watch the NFL action on Sunday. The Seahawks are in second place in the West, with a 2-3 record and have looked good at times. The Cardinals are third with a 1-4 record and hoping for better play out of starting quarterback Kevin Kolb.
For the 49ers, the loss sustained by the Rams is almost inconsequential at this point. The Cardinals and Seahawks remain within the range of coming back to win the division, but the former has to play San Francisco twice, and the latter has already lost to them once. It's not a forgone conclusion that the 49ers will win the division, but they have to feel great, or even elated, at their position.