The San Francisco 49ers face the Arizona Cardinals later today and really their playoff positioning plans come down to two games: their own and the New Orleans Saints versus the Tennessee Titans. The 49ers hold a one-game lead over the Saints for the number two seed in the NFC and really that is all that matters at this point. The 49ers do have a shot at the number one seed, but it seems unlikely that the Packers lose at least two games between now and the end of the season.
49ers @ Cardinals: The 49ers enter the game as four point favorites. That is not exactly a sizable line and I have to say, this game does have me a bit on edge. I'm not saying I'm wildly concerned, but sometimes things can get a little nutty down in Glendale. The 49ers have won the last four games each by double digits, so it's not like there is a recent history of that. But really, from 2004 to 2009 there were some crazy games. The 49ers are playing a game they "should win" and they have handled their business in those games thus far. I'm just saying, I'm not prepared to completely sleep on the Cardinals.
Saints @ Titans: The Saints are on a heck of a roll lately having won four straight to take a two-game lead in the NFC South. They remain a game back of the 49ers and would need to win on the conference record tiebreaker as the 49ers win the common opponents tiebreaker. The Saints seem to be a bit of a Jekkyl and Hyde team when it comes to home and road games. They did play well at Lambeau early in the season, but they have struggled a bit on the road otherwise.
The Tennessee Titans have played some solid football at home and are a dangerous team. More importantly, Chris Johnson is actually starting to play some big time football. He was abysmal for much of the season, but these last two games he has rushed for 343 yards and a pair of touchdowns. If CJ2K is back on his game, that could prove troublesome for the Saints. This could be an upset in the making. If the 49ers can beat Arizona and Tennessee can knock of New Orleans, that gives the 49ers some much-needed breathing room.
Raiders @ Packers: The Packers are two up with four to go and not looking to lose anytime soon. They host a Raiders team that is incredibly banged up right now. The Raiders will be without Darren McFadden, Jacoby Ford, Denarius Moore and Taiwan Jones. I'm not feeling the upset here. It'd be nice to see the Raiders shock the Packers, but when you remove four significant playmakers, I just don't know how the Raiders can win this one.