For 49ers, Playoff Have Already Started And First Test Is Passed Behind Arm Of Trey Lance

Somehow, someway, the San Francisco 49ers can still dream about the playoffs. That'as where things stand after the Niners received a needed game against an opponent such as the Houston Texans, as well as a whole lot of Trey Lance.

Final score on Sunday: San Francisco 23, Houston 7, as Trey Lance tossed a pair of touchdowns and the defense totally silenced the Texans in the final two quarters.

So what now for the Niners? Well, all they need to do is beat the Los Angeles Rams next week, and they're in. Granted, that could be a tall task, given that the Rams are still fighting for the No. 2 spot in the NFC.

But the 49ers will control their own playoff fate, and that's something a lot of teams would kill to do in the final week of the regular season.

It helped that they had the rookie Lance, who picked up his first win while filling in for injured starter Jimmy Garoppolo. They actually trailed 7-3 at halftime, before coach Kyle Shanahan asked the offense if it was ready to play.

It responded, as Lance came to life and the defense did the rest.

“Nothing’s too big for (Lance),” Shanahan told reporters. “He’s a competitor, he enjoys playing football, and he really enjoys the moment. ... When he’s out there, we know we’ve got a guy the guys can follow.”

Lance finished 16-of-23 passing for 249 yards and a 116.0 passer rating. This was just his second NFL start.

So now, with a record of 9-7, the Niners have lived to see another day. And in all reality, they already are playing in an official playoff, because the only way to guarantee themselves a spot is to win again.

They say they know that. Now let's see what they can do about it.