The 49ers head into Week 16 with control of the number two seed and hoping for some help with regards to the number one seed. The 49ers hold the tiebreaker over New Orleans thanks to a better conference record, which will likely remain the same if they finish the season tied. The 49ers also would hold the tiebreaker over Green Bay if they finished tied. If the 49ers win out and the Packers lose out, they would both be 10-2 in conference play, but the 49ers hold the better record against common opponents.
The Saints play on Monday Night Football, hosting the Atlanta Falcons. The Saints are dominant when they play in the Superdome, but there is something to be said about hosting a solid dome team in the Falcons. The Saints will likely handle their business, but an upset is not out of the realm of the possible. Go Falcons!
The Packers host the Chicago Bears on Sunday Night Football as the only game on Christmas. I think we all know what we want for Christmas. The Bears are falling apart thanks in part to the injuries to Jay Cutler and Matt Forte. Backup running back Marion Barber is doubtful for Sunday, meaning third string back Kahlil Bell will get the start. Bell has looked solid in limited appearances and the Bears will be leaning heavily on him. Go Bears!
Beyond that, the 49ers can sit and watch the carnage unfold. With the win over Pittsburgh, the 49ers can drop no lower than the three seed. Right now that would set up a matchup with the Detroit Lions. The Lions clinch the NFC wild card with a win or a combination of other NFC losses. However, a loss and some other wins create some craziness for Week 17. For the 49ers purposes, a win over Seattle eliminates the Seahawks from postseason contention.