The St. Louis Rams' Thursday Night Football win over the Arizona Cardinals means that the San Francisco 49ers could take a share of the NFC West lead with a win over the Buffalo Bills Sunday afternoon. (And I doubt Alex Smith even said thanks!) But that's not the only possible standings outcome—if former Mike Martz protege Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Buffalo Bills can upset the Niners, the Rams will be tied with them for second place.
It'll be tough. While the Bills' strong offense and the 49ers' stout defense will give each other headaches, the Bills' defense, which has allowed 33 points per game, will be hard-pressed to keep the Bills in it unless Fitzpatrick and C.J. Spiller can put their usual 30 points on the board.
Bettors are, so far, finding that a little implausible. Andrew Sharp is taking the 49ers in the national's weekly picks column, which makes sense because they're 10-point favorites. I don't think Alex Smith will manage to join Tom Brady in putting up 50 points on this defense, but if the 49ers can keep Spiller under, say, 10 yards per carry they won't need to.
But Rams fans know a thing or two about rooting against impossible odds. So until the 49ers are officially 4-1, it's our prerogative to consider the possibility that they might end Week 5 3-2.