49ers 5-3 Start Has Them Poised For Postseason Run

49ers 5-3 Start Has Them Poised For Postseason Run
Fact Checked by Nate Hamilton

After the 49ers got off to a torrid start winning their first five games this NFL season, quarterback Brock Purdy seemed to lose his superpowers, at least for a while, and San Francisco has lost three in a row bringing into question the 49ers playoff chances. Perhaps, their Bye last week fell at just the right time as they resume their schedule this coming Sunday in Jacksonville.

Through the first five games, Purdy’s touchdown pass-to-interception ratio was a Hall of Fame-caliber 9-to-zero. In the next three games, it was a more human, 3-to-5. Not surprisingly, his game-to-game passing ratings fell from mostly triple digits to double digits.

But this isn’t all on Purdy either, who is still learning what it means to be The Guy for an NFL team. In the first five games, the Niners’ vaunted defense gave up an average of 13.6 points a game. During the three-game skid, the Niners have given up an average of 24 points a game. However, despite the three-game losing streak, the 5-3 49ers are still tied with Seattle for first place in the NFC West and very much in the hunt for the playoffs.

Utilizing the Champs or Chumps website and our California sports betting mindset, BetCalifornia.com examined how teams ultimately fared when beginning their seasons with a 5-3 record, going back to the 2018 NFL campaign.

Performance Of NFL Teams Starting 5-3

Once California sportsbook apps become available in the Golden State, data, like you see below, will be a great source for anyone considering betting on the 49ers.

Situation Teams Percentage
Making The Playoffs 17 58.6%
Win Wild Card Round6 20.7%
Win Divisional Round 2 6.9%
Win Conference Championship 2 6.9%
Win Super Bowl 1 3.4%
*Rounded to nearest whole number

2019 Chiefs won the Super Bowl starting 5-3

Things Are Looking Up for 49ers Postseason Push

There have been 29 teams that have started 5-3 in the last five seasons. Some reasonably good news for San Francisco fans is that of those 29 teams that started 5-3,  more than half – 17 teams, or 58.6% -- qualified for the playoffs. Meanwhile, of those 29 teams that started 5-3, just one was able to break out and win the Super Bowl, the 2019 Kansas City Chiefs who roared to a 12-4 regular-season finish and easily captured the AFC West.

What the statistics of the last five seasons illustrate is that while a 5-3 start will often be good enough to see a team through to the playoffs, if it means that the club gets there as a Wild Card, that could present difficulties for getting deep into the postseason. The problems of starting 5-3 -- especially if it means qualifying for the playoffs as a Wild Card -- are that those teams often won’t be getting the early postseason Bye to rest their players; most likely, they will be playing on the road in hostile stadiums, and, at least in theory, they will be playing superior opponents.

The statistics show that only six (or 20%) of the 17 teams that started 5-3 but qualified for the playoffs got through the Wild Card round. Two of those 5-3 starters (6.9%) made it through the Divisional Round, and two (also 6.9%) won the Conference Championship game. As mentioned, only the 2019 Chiefs won the Lombardi Trophy.

Stay with BetCalifornia.com for more coverage on the 49ers and the best California sportsbook promo codes as soon as they become available when sports betting eventually passes in the Golden State.



Bill Ordine
Senior Journalist & Opinion Columnist

Bill Ordine, senior journalist and columnist for BetCalifornia.com, was a reporter and editor in news and sports for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Baltimore Sun for 25 years, and was a lead reporter on a team that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News. Bill started reporting on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for 10 years. He covered the World Series of Poker for a decade and his articles on gaming have appeared in many major U.S. newspapers, such as the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald and others.

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