Week 15 comes to a close with the Detroit Lions and Baltimore Ravens meeting up on Monday Night Football. The game does not impact the 49ers playoff positioning, but it has significant bearing on their potential playoff opponent.
The 49ers are currently situated as the No. 6 seed. The 49ers can clinch their playoff spot in Week 16 with a win or Arizona Cardinals loss. If the 49ers win they will move into the No. 5 seed thanks to one of the New Orleans Saints or Carolina Panthers losing.
What does this all mean for tonight? Barring a Seattle Seahawks collapse, if the 49ers get to the playoffs, they will head on the road to face either the NFC North or NFC East winner. The Philadelphia Eagles are on top of the East, but they still have to travel to Dallas in Week 17. That game likely will determine the East winner. As the North currently stands, the Lions are a half game back of the Chicago Bears. If the Lions win tonight, they move back into first and claim the head-to-head tiebreaker over Chicago. If the Lions lose tonight, they will be a game back of the Bears and a half game back of the Green Bay Packers.
A Lions win moves them ahead of the Eagles due to conference record tiebreaker, so there's your impact on the 49ers. I wouldn't mind the 49ers coming out to Philadelphia since I could catch the train up there from DC, but I'll take whatever they can get. Root as you see fit.