Depending on how it’s viewed, the 49ers' cup is half empty, or half full.
After getting roasted by the Broncos Sunday night in front of a national TV audience – and with so many key players missing in action with injuries – it would be easy to feel shaky about the 49ers future after this bye week.
The Niners are 4-3 and did little right against Denver.
But aside from the fact so many players may soon be back from injury, there’s another reason for optimism: the schedule.
As Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle pointed out this week, the final nine games of the 2014 season are a bit less foreboding than the first seven, beginning with the Rams on Sunday, Nov. 2 at Levi’s Stadium.
The cumulative record of the 49ers’ first seven opponents is 29-15. And, the 49ers gave the Cowboys (6-1) and Eagles (5-1) their only losses.
Over the second half of the season, just two opponents have a winning record, and the cumulative record of opponents is 22-29.
After the 2-4 Rams come the Saints (2-4), Giants (3-4), Redskins (2-5), Seahawks (3-3), Raiders (0-6), Seahawks again, Chargers (5-2) and Cardinals (5-1)
Of course, nobody before the season would have pointed to games against the Seahawks and Saints as being easy. Both have struggled but remain very dangerous. The Cardinals, meanwhile, might come back to Earth a bit and the Chargers benefited from a soft early schedule, so they may not be as strong as their record indicates.
After watching his team suffer its first loss in four games Sunday night, head coach Jim Harbaugh believes the 49ers will rebound, as they have so many times the past three seasons.
“Onward, we’ll rally,” he said. “Our team will be good at that.”