SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 16: Quarterback Alex Smith #11 of the San Francisco 49ers is sacked by linebacker Antwan Barnes #98 of the San Diego Chargers in the fourth quarter at Qualcomm Stadium on December 16, 2010 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
On Thursday night's episode of "Real Pushovers of the NFC West", the San Francisco 49ers' embarrassing 34-7 loss to the Chargers guaranteed that the Niners will remain among the biggest losers. They can now finish no better than 7-9.
Their path is pretty simple -- win out in their final two games at St. Louis and at home against Arizona, while praying for the Rams and Seahawks to lose out their final three remaining games. Any victory by either the Rams or the Seahawks will instantly eliminate the 49ers from playoff contention.
Is this too much to ask for? Consider that this weekend, 6-7 Seattle and St. Louis both face awesome-good division-leading playoff teams. The Rams play the 8-5 Kansas City Chiefs, and the Seahawks face the 11-2 Atlanta Falcons.
Should the 49ers pull off this losing-record playoff miracle, they would also have the worst winning percentage of any playoff team in NFL history.
The 4-5 Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions of the strike-shortened 1982 season, the only other losing teams to ever make the NFL playoffs, both had .444 winning percentages. A theoretical 7-9 49ers NFC West champion team would have a.438 winning percentage.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who would be proud to have his team known as the worst NFL playoff team of all time.