The 49ers are still in the NFC West race, if you're the kind of person who wants to hear those things. Not that it's a bad thing, but it's almost woefully optimistic to view things from that angle, they sit two games back, with a need to win out the rest of the season to finish at 8-8, .500 yet again. Some would argue that the 49ers don't need that right now; that winning more games and a last hurrah to end the season would only serve as false hope and muck things up as far as the coaching staff and player personnel is concerned. Some would argue that regardless of the situation, when the ball is kicked off of that tee for the first time, you have to win at any cost. Maybe not any cost - looking at you, Spygate 1 & 2 perpetrators - but you understand the gist.
Coming into this season, the 49ers were the heavy favorites to win the division. The Seattle Seahawks had a good draft, but San Francisco did as well. The Cardinals had lost several key players, and the Rams were still the Rams, not very good since they lost the magic of Kurt Warner - same as the Cardinals this year.
So in week one the 49ers headed into Qwest Field with a little bit of swagger, and were soundly beaten in every facet of the game. Wide receiver Michael Crabtree, with his first full offseason as a 49er (though missing yet another preseason) couldn't hang on to footballs and a couple of tipped interceptions later: the Niners were beaten, soundly.
Now the Seahawks are coming to Candlestick Park, and with a win over San Francisco, could take over sole possession of the NFC West, with the Rams taking on the tough New Orleans Saints this week. If the 49ers don't get a win this Sunday, you can likely count them out of the race for the playoffs for another season, and things will truly look bad for head coach Mike Singletary.