Week 13 of the NFL schedule provides the 49ers with a fairly basic path. Win this week and they secure a playoff spot. Had Seattle lost on Thursday it would have created some other opportunities, but I'm almost glad the Seahawks won. I'd rather the 49ers simply be in a position where it is just a matter of win and you're in. Handle your business and all will be well.
Nonetheless, even if the 49ers win their game and secure the NFC West, there remain some intriguing games. The "biggest" is Detroit at New Orleans. After beating the Lions in Detroit, 49ers fans can now root for the fightin' Jim Schwartzs. The 49ers remain a game up on the Saints for the second seed and the all-important first round bye. A division championship ensures home field in one round, but the bye would be an even bigger deal for the 49ers.
The New York Giants host the Green Bay Packers Sunday afternoon and you could argue this is the toughest remaining game on the Packers schedule. The 49ers need at least two Packers losses if they want a shot at the number one overall seed, so feel free to root for Tom Coughlin and the Giants Sunday afternoon.
Finally, Dallas travels to Arizona to face the Cardinals. While New Orleans leads the chase for the number two seed, the Cowboys are a game back of New Orleans and have the tie-breaker edge against the 49ers. Feel free to root for the Arizona Cardinals all afternoon!