Alright, I'll be honest, this is not even close to an original idea. I was over at Acme Packing Company (our Packers blog) and came across an intriguing FanPost from last week. The author went through the various matchups for the week and who Packers fans should be cheering for. Given that we're getting into the playoff chase, I think it makes sense to put something like this together each week. At least as long as the 49ers remain in the playoff chase!
NFC West Standings
1. Arizona Cardinals (6-3)
2. San Francisco 49ers (4-5)
3. Seattle Seahawks (3-6)
NFC Wildcard Standings
1. Philadelphia Eagles (5-4)
2. Atlanta Falcons (5-4)
3. Green Bay Packers (5-4)
4. NY Giants (5-4)
5. San Francisco 49ers (4-5)
6. Chicago Bears (4-5)
7. Carolina Panthers (4-6)
I realize the 3-6 teams are only a game back of the 4-5 teams, but for wildcard purposes, teams behind the 49ers will remain off the list for now. The Panthers remain on the list because they played early this week, and of course we have the Panther Watch (quick recap coming a little later this morning). After the jump, we go through this weekend's matchups. As for the division, the Seahawks were swept by Arizona and really struggling. If they beat Minnesota this weekend I'll add them in to this guide next week.
49ers-Packers: This is your Captain Obvious matchup of the week, as it always is when the 49ers are involved. We know what's up here. NN CHOICE: 49ERS
Falcons-Giants: I had a rather extended email conversation with Florida Danny about this matchup. The first tiebreaker for the playoffs is head-to-head record, and the second tiebreaker is conference record. The 49ers are actually in decent shape with their conference record. The Falcons own the head-to-head tiebreaker with the 49ers, while the Giants and 49ers don't play. Given that Michael Turner is out for at least a week, maybe more, I think I'd prefer the Giants to win this game. Both teams are 5-4 and an Atlanta win would allow the Falcons to remain the equivalent of two games ahead of the 49ers (because of the tiebreaker). Atlanta faces Philly in a couple weeks, a game in which we'll be rooting for Philly. Also, the Giants are 3-3 in conference (49ers are 4-2), so the 49ers hold an edge once they hopefully tie it up with them. NN CHOICE: GIANTS
Cardinals-Rams: Tough call here. The Cardinals are undefeated on the road, so I'm not holding my breath. But an upset would be sooooo sweet. NN CHOICE: RAMS
Eagles-Bears: Given that the 49ers hold the tiebreaker over the Bears, we're definitely rooting for the Bears in this game. Jay Cutler performs much better at home than on the road, while Philly has been a bit inconsistent on the road. The good news (sort of) is that even if Philly wins, the 49ers head to Philly for what could turn into a monster week 15 matchup. The 49ers might not have the best chance in the world, but hopefully the game will mean something. NN CHOICE: BEARS
So there you have it. If you disagree with me on the Giants selection (or the Bears/Eagles as well I suppose), feel free to comment accordingly.