• Shelly Holt

Ending on a High Note: What a Win Streak Does for the 49ers Heading Into the NFL Offseason

Image Credit: Associated Press

A strange kind of division occurred on Sunday among the 49ers faithful. When San Francisco won in overtime against the Seahawks, some of us celebrated the death of the 10-game losing streak to our embattled division foes. Other fans were disappointed that another win likely meant the 49ers lost the first overall pick in the 2019 Draft. Indeed, according to tankathon.com, the Niners dropped from No. 1 to No. 4 after Week 15’s win.

Now, as the Niners prepare to host the Bears on Sunday, fear is brewing that another win would bring the team even further down the draft order. And, then during Week 17, when the Rams are likely to sit many of their starters to prepare for the playoffs, another win is not out of the question for San Francisco.

So, if the 49ers finish the season 6-10, they would likely end up outside the top ten in the draft order. It’s also a safe bet that they would miss out on the best new defensive talent that the team sorely needs.

But, as torn as we may feel about more wins for our struggling 49ers versus draft order, ending on a win streak is the best possible thing that could happen to this organization. Winning out would be a huge boost to this young team’s collective pride, especially after going through such a long and difficult injury-ridden season.

Just look at the 49ers’ joyous locker celebration on Sunday after the win. The players rejoiced as if they made it into the post-season. The reality is that at 3-10 before the game, they actually had nothing to play for. Yet, beating the Seahawks did mean something. The 49ers proved to themselves that they may be young, have made mistakes, but they are still valid and will continue to fight for the owners, coaches and themselves. This kind of resilience is the perfect takeaway a struggling team needs as it heads into the off-season. Adding two more wins would be the icing on the cake.

And, think of this: Last year, it felt like Jimmy Garoppolo was a messiah when the 49ers went on a five-game win streak after he took the helm. To have another win streak the following season with Nick Mullens under center, a formerly undrafted little-known 23-year-old rookie quarterback would validate the success the 49ers experienced late in 2017 and provide hope that with the right motivation, this team will be better in the near future.

Here’s hoping that San Francisco beats Chicago on Sunday and then demolishes Los Angeles on December 30. Screw that draft pick and the doubters. We need those wins as encouragement for next season when Garoppolo will be revived and the roster is in even better shape than it is now.

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