Mike Singletary does not think his team will lose today to Green Bay. A coach always believes his team will win, even if his team is the 4-7 49ers and the opponent is the 7-4 Packers, and even if the Packers are playing at home.
Singletary has every right to believe the 49ers will win. It's his job to believe. In addition, he used to be a great player and great players always are sure someone will make the play that saves the day, that wins the game, that leads to a happy ending like in a storybook.
That is how Singletary thinks. It is an admirable way of thinking. People like us can't help noticing it's unrealistic in the extreme, but we acknowledge Singletary is entitled to think that way — it's one of the best things about him as a coach.
The 49ers will not defeat the Packers today. As a side note, if they do defeat the Packers, the citizens of San Francisco ought to organize a parade down Market Street to honor Singletary. Or, better yet, the citizens of Santa Clara should organize a parade down El Camino Real. Does El Camino go through Santa Clara?
I don't believe a parade will be necessary. The 49ers' quarterback isn't good enough and Singletary already said he's not going to spiff up the offense, even though Brian Westbrook has spiff capability. And the San Francisco pass defense is not the best and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers — yes, that guy — is one of the top ball-throwers on the planet. The 49ers almost never stop good passing teams.
I'm chalking up this game as a loss verging on embarrassment. We should do some math at this point. The 49ers, whom everyone picked to win their division, have five games remaining — at Green Bay, Seattle in San Francisco, at San Diego on a Thursday night (as in short week), at St. Louis, and Arizona at home to complete the schedule.
How will the Niners do? I already awarded them the Packers loss. I say they defeat Seattle at home, although the Seahawks humiliated them in Seattle in the season opener, in the Alex-Smith-couldn't-hear game. The Seahawks are drowning. Would I bet the mortgage on the 49ers winning this game? Don't be silly.
Then the Niners get murdered in San Diego. They don't stand a chance of stopping Philip Rivers, who may be better than Rodgers, who is challenging Tom Brady for best quarterback in the league. The Chargers will eviscerate the 49ers.
Then comes the pivotal game in the schedule — at St. Louis. This is the most difficult game to dope out, because the Rams are improving rapidly and they will be at home and their quarterback Sam Bradford is lights out. How lights out? In his last six games he's thrown 11 touchdowns and one interception. He is a quarterback on the rise and, although Troy Smith is a nice little success story and a feisty guy, he is no Sam Bradford. It goes without saying that Alex Smith — that other 49er Smith — is no Sam Bradford. Alex Smith isn't even Troy Smith.
Having pumped up the Rams, I'm still going with the 49ers in this game. Why? Just because.
They finish the season at home against the Arizona Cardinals. The 49ers will win that game because the Cardinals, as you saw last Monday night, quit playing long ago. The Cards make every opponent look like a champ.