Image Credit: Andrew Giesemann
I’m not exactly engulfed in despair that my 49ers have only two wins and eight losses right before Week 12 of the 2018 season. But, as a fan, I realize it’s going to be tough to endure six more games this year, four of which are against .500 or better contenders.
The good news is that our team has proven they have plenty of talent, guts and fight left in them. And, the players are expected to continue to perform for a 2019 roster spot. So, there is a longshot that we could pull off an upset or two.
If not, how we will find the ability to withstand the disappointment of more losses this season? What’s a 49ers fan to do?
From personal experience, I find a cocktail (or two) provides excellent solace on bad 49ers game days. Both Ben & Jerry have also become names that have proven to soothe my psyche, especially after those close game losses.
But, whether or not cocktails and/or ice cream are your choice to help assuage away the pain during this losing season, you need to be prepared. Below, I outline the remaining games left on the Niners schedule and also, I provide a suggested cocktail rating to help get you through. You’re welcome…
WEEK 12 – 49ers at Buccaneers (Nov 25)
Tampa Bay is the worst team San Francisco will face before the end of the season. At 3-7 and in last place in a tough NFC South Division, this Florida team has lost seven of their last eight, have one of the worst defenses in the league and are embroiled in a quarterback crisis. The Buccaneers may be evenly matched with the 49ers in turnover ratio, least takeaways, poor sack rate, and lack of ability to finish close games. But, they do have the best passing offense in the NFL. Keys for the Niners to win: Nick Mullens needs to be poised during his first road game and help put enough points up early. The defense should also force Jameis Winston into making bad interceptions (which he is prone to do) while Shanahan should try to keep Tampa Bay’s defense off-balance. What could ruin our chances? We lose the turnover battle.
WEEK 13 – 49ers at Seahawks (Dec 2)
Even though Seattle is currently 5-5, this team looks poised to make a run at the playoffs. They seem to be gaining steam as they often do late in the season and are just way more efficient than the Niners have been all season long. With a 70.97 Red Zone Percentage and a +7 turnover-differential along with an elite experienced quarterback behind an improved offensive line, this will be tough for the 49ers to overcome. On the road. At CenturyLink Field. Another cocktail, please.
WEEK 14 – Broncos at 49ers (Dec 9)
Denver has had its struggles this season and will probably miss the playoffs for the third straight year. Sporting a 4-6 record and third in the AFC West, they’ve had issues with putting up points and their overall defense has slipped. Quarterback Case Keenum has also been less than stellar (11 TDs/10 Interceptions; 44.6 QBR). Despite their problems, the Broncos have been a more efficient team, have better playmakers at certain positions and perform solidly in the Red Zone. Keenum has also proven to be an excellent fourth quarter game manager. But, like the Niners, this team has lost close games that were winnable. This all makes me believe that there’s an opening here for the 49ers to exploit. Could be a fun one… unless Von Miller wrecks Nick Mullens, of course.
WEEK 15 – Seahawks at 49ers (Dec 16)
Them again. We have a slight better chance of winning at home against the Hawks. But if Seattle won their previous three (against Carolina, the 49ers and Vikings), momentum will definitely be in their favor. Health is a big factor in this game as well. By this point in the season, San Francisco has had three games in a row. We’ll see who’s left standing on both sides of the football before making a precise prediction. We all know it’s a big rivalry between these two teams and so, the cocktail rating goes up. If we lost Week 14 to Seattle on the road, add another libation.
WEEK 16 – Bears at 49ers (Dec 23)
Chicago is an intriguing team and one that will not be easy to defeat. Heading for the playoffs, they’re going to want to win this one bad before the season finale against the Vikings to reign supreme over the very competitive NFC North Division. It gets more interesting if Mitch Trubisky’s current shoulder issue blossoms into a bad injury and his backup plays. Either way, this is a top 10 team reenergized by new head coach Matt Nagy and is on the rise. The threat of Khalil Mack and Akiem Hicks alone is enough to add another cocktail onto the rating.
WEEK 17 – 49ers at Rams (Dec 30)
The only real chance the 49ers have to win this one is if Los Angeles rests its starters to prepare for the playoffs. If not, it’s going to be a four-cocktail night. A real Super Bowl contender, this Rams team is very balanced. The return of cornerback Aqib Talib would make them complete. And, scary. What they did in the off-season to put their roster together was inspiring and is now paying off. Quarterback Jared Goff also took a major step forward this season and earned more respect. He’s not one to underestimate and needs to be stopped, along with that Gurley guy if there is any sliver of hope. Bottom-line: We’re getting drunk…
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