Fans are excited. Even fans from other NFC West teams are acknowledging what the standings have made obvious. It's a one-team race in the division.
But it's still a four-team division. A few chat highlights for discussion, beginning with one reflected in the headline for this item:
Mike Sando: I was thinking this thought exactly earlier in the week. The financial commitment the team has made to Kevin Kolb requires Kolb to be the starter for the longer term. But let's just say Skelton somehow passed for 400 yards with four touchdown passes and the Cardinals won big. Then what? The team might need to let Kolb's sore toe heal a while longer, I suspect.
Jordan from Boise acknowledges that the 49ers will win the NFC West and wonders whether a second-place finish from the St. Louis Rams might be enough for owner Stan Kroenke to keep the team's current leadership.
Mike Sando: Good question. Kroenke purchased the Denver Nuggets in 2000. Dan Issel stayed as coach for a year or two, then was gone. I think it's easier to change an NBA coach, though. In the NFL, there is much greater fallout throughout an organization because staffs are so much larger. I think a strong finish to the season would probably be enough for the Rams to keep Steve Spagnuolo, but that is me talking, not Kroenke talking. He isn't tipping his hand.
Mike Sando: I think the 49ers would rush for 200 yards against the Saints and get a lot of hits on Drew Brees. The matchup with Green Bay would be tougher. That is a pretty high bar to set, though. What if Alex Smith got the 'W' over Aaron Rodgers in a playoff game? That would seem about as likely as the 49ers going 6-1 this season with three fourth-quarter comeback victories on the road.
Rob from Augusta, Ga., asks whether the Seattle Seahawks would settle for a lesser talent at quarterback to fill the void or placate fans if the team wound up drafting too low to land a top-rated college prospect in the upcoming draft.
Mike Sando: Frightening question for a lot of Seahawks fans I know. They just about have to draft one early this coming year. I think they'll be picking high enough to do so given that some teams ahead of them might already have quarterbacks.
The chat concluded with a question about whether 49ers fans were getting a little cocky.
"No, they're too busy booking travel to Indianapolis," I replied.