The 49ers get going at 1:05 p.m. PT, but in the meantime there are seven games in the AM slate. The most notable is Cardinals vs. Eagles in Philadelphia. Both teams are playing strong football, and are in the thick of the playoff race. The Cardinals need a win to stay at the top of the wildcard race, while the Eagles are looking to hang steady with the Cowboys.
The two other notable NFC games are Panthers vs. Bucs and Vikings vs. Bears. The Panthers are sizable favorites, but I suppose we can hope for the best from the Bucs. I'm not holding my breath. The Vikings are a slim favorite over the Bears in part because it's a home game, and in part because of Josh McCown getting the start. I'm fine with the Bears dropping another one, moving them that much further out of the wildcard race.
The morning slate is more about the AFC, as we could get a little more clarity in that wildcard race. The 7-4 Colts host the 5-6 Titans, while the 5-6 Jets host the 5-6 Dolphins. The Titans, Jets and Dolphins are all a half game back of the 6-6 Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens hold the conference record tie-breaker edge, so the other three teams are simply looking to hang close and hope the Ravens slip up down the stretch.