It’s all about finishing in the NFL.
Not only are the fates of games decided in the last quarter of play, but the fates of teams can be decided in the final quarter of the season.
Take the 2011 New York Giants for example. Big Blue was sitting at 6-6 through 12 games last year, before going 3-1 in the final four games to sneak in the playoffs to make its eventual Super Bowl run.
“It’s very important to finish this quarter strong,” Carlos Rogers said. “We talk about fourth quarters. This is the last quarter and the teams that do good in the playoffs – around the end of November, December they kind of click, kind of get going and establish themselves into the playoffs. That’s what we’ve got to do. Can’t come into the playoffs with losses like we did last week and not hitting on all cylinders.”
At the moment, the 49ers are trying to build momentum after Sunday’s tough 16-13 overtime loss at St. Louis. With an 8-3-1 record, the 49ers still have a slight lead over Seattle (7-5) in the divisional race, but will need to finish strong to claim their second straight NFC West title. Still, as Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com reported, there’s an outside chance of the 49ers clinching a playoff spot on Sunday.
The Rams earned a hard-fought victory over the 49ers even though the offense accounted for just 6 points against the stingy San Francisco defense. But Rogers and his teammates haven’t pointed any fingers since suffering the defeat.
“We lose as a team, we win as a team,” Rogers said. “Regardless, we’ve got to try and find a way to get that ‘W’ no matter what the circumstances are.”
The 49ers have four tall tasks lined up for the end of the season, starting Sunday against Miami before a marquee matchup at New England in Week 15, a road contest in Seattle in Week 16 and the regular season finale at home against Arizona.
Rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill has struggled for Miami (5-7) this season, throwing for 2,559 yards, seven touchdowns and 12 interceptions with a 57.9 percent completion percentage. The Dolphins have lost four of their last five and recently placed franchise left tackle Jake Long on the Injured Reserve with a torn triceps, but Rogers said the 49ers aren’t looking past any opponent.
“Unfortunately we just lost one and all we can do is bounce back,” Rogers said. “That’s when you test your character is when you go through adversity. If you never go through anything, you never lose, when times get tough you won’t know how to respond. We’re a good team at responding.”
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