Current Wild Card Standings
With this list, we can eliminate 3 of these teams due to them winning their divisions. (I am assuming that Seattle wins the NFC West, it’s too much for me to hope for a complete breakdown.) For the sake of argument, I will say the Saints, Eagles and Lions win their respective divisions. With these assumptions, let’s modify the list.
Now, let’s look at their remaining schedule.
Panthers: Bucs, @Saints, Jets, Saints, @Falcons. It would be realistic to say they split with the Saints and beat the Jets and Falcons. I also think they can beat the Bucs, but it depends on which Bucs team is showing up. I will give them a W for that game though. So, final record: 12-4
Cardinals: @Eagles, Rams, @Titans, @Seahawks, 49ers. The easiest game they have is the Titans, who are fighting for their playoff lives. They will lose to the Seahawks, and I think win against the Titans. I’ll give a split on the Eagles and Rams. I will also say the Cardinals beat the 49ers (though I think we win). This is assuming that Carson Palmer continues his new found anti-INT trend. Final record: 10-6
49ers: @Redskins, Rams, Seahawks, @Bucs, Falcons, @Cardinals. The toughest game will be the Cardinals game. Before our Seahawk fans crucify me, hear me out. The Cards will be fighting for their playoff lives most likely in week 17 in their house. The Seahawks will be in Niner land, where we play the Hawks much better. Also, over the past two losses our scores are 29-33, with one of them being the SAINTS. All of these games are winnable, but I’m going to chalk a loss to the Cardinals, wins everywhere else. Final record: 11-5
Packers: @Lions, Falcons, @Cowboys, Steelers, @Bears. Losses to the Lions and Cowboys, the rest are wins. Final record: 8-5-1
Rams: @49ers, @Cardinals, Saints, Bucs, @Seahawks. Talk about a tough schedule. Loss to the 49ers, win against the Bucs. Split between the Cards and the Saints. I also think they lose a very close hard-fought match in Seattle. Final Record: 7-9.
So, with how I think things will go, here is the final record for wild card teams.
#5 Seed Panthers: 12-4
#6 Seed 49ers: 11-5
8-5-1 8-7-1 (Thank you ILNinerNut!)
Going through this exercise made me realize how precarious the 49ers position is. Right now, the only three teams I see making it for sure are the Seahawks, the Saints, and the Panthers. But one or two upsets could throw things off entirely. What happens if Palmer goes back to old Palmer and throws 3 picks a game for the Cards? What if a key injury happens to the Panthers (like what happened with the Packers)? What happens if Crabtree and Patton fix our WR woes? Or the Rams show their offensive prowess (did I just say that?) isn’t a fluke?
Yet another thing I found out crunching these numbers. There will be at least two deserving teams that won't make it. I mean, 10-6 and missing the playoffs is just cruel.
The 49ers control their own destiny. We are in a must-win state, but if we do win we will make it. Once we get to the playoffs, anything goes.