The San Francisco 49ers are 7-4 and in a fierce battle for one of the NFC’s two wild-card playoff positions with five games to play.
The Carolina Panthers lead the wild card chase at 8-3 at have a head-to-head win over San Francisco in their pocket. Then there are the 49ers and Arizona Cardinals at 7-4, with the Philadelphia Eagles and Chicago Bears lurking at 6-5.
But tight end Vernon Davis knows the job ahead and thinks that with the recent additions of wide receivers Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham to the active roster, they have what it takes to return to the Super Bowl, even if they have to travel a longer road than they did a season ago.
“We all know what our journey is about,” Davis told the team’s official website. “In order to get there, we have to have everyone ready and healthy.”
The 49ers play all three of their divisional rivals down the stretch, beginning Sunday against the St. Louis Rams, with the Seattle Seahawks coming to Candlestick on Dec. 8.
“In order to get there, we have to keep our focus, keep our minds positive, lean on each other whenever we need help or extra advice,” Davis said. “We have to be as one and play this game together.”
There are recent blueprints for riding the road to wild card Super Bowl glory. Last year, the 49ers were the first team since 2009 to reach the Super Bowl after winning a division title and having a first-round bye.
In 2010, the Green Bay Packers went from No. 6 seed to Super Bowl champion and the Pittsburgh Steelers did the same thing in 2005.
So it’s certainly not unheard of. Rather, it’s a matter of getting hot—and in some cases—healthy at the right time.
The San Francisco 49ers certainly appear to be getting the latter one under control.