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NFL playoff picture, Week 11: 49ers have big opportunity with Colin Kaepernick in the saddle

We break down the playoff picture heading into the 49ers-Bears Week 11 Monday Night Football matchup.

In case you missed it earlier, Alex Smith is reportedly OUT for Monday Night Football, meaning Colin Kaepernick gets his first career start. Nothing like arguably the top defense in the league to test your mettle right from the get-go.

In the meantime, the 49ers head into Monday Night Football with a fairly sizable opportunity at hand. The 49ers sit a half game back of the Bears in the NFC playoff picture, which means a win tonight moves them to a half game up on the Bears. That is the most important thing we'll take from Week 11, but there was plenty of weekend action to keep the playoff race interesting. I shot some quick video last night, which you can check above.

Here are the standings heading into Monday Night Football:

1. Atlanta Falcons (9-1)
2. Chicago Bears (7-2)
3. San Francisco 49ers (6-2-1)
4. New York Giants (6-4)
5. Green Bay Packers (7-3)
6. Seattle Seahawks (6-4)

Minnesota Vikings (6-4)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-4)
Dallas Cowboys (5-5)
New Orleans Saints (5-5)

Week 12 will provide plenty of opportunities for some clearing up in the playoff picture. We've had a lot of matchups thus far with winning teams facing sub-.500 teams. Week 12 will feature 49ers-Saints, Vikings-Bears, Falcons-Buccaneers and Packers-Giants. It's kind of a big week coming up.

Of course, none of that matters until we get resolution tonight between the 49ers and Bears.