The Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots each won on Saturday, advancing to their respective conference championship games. The Seahawks were in a dogfight with the Carolina Panthers through the first three quarters, but pulled away late for the 31-17 win. They will host the winner of the Green Bay Packers-Dallas Cowboys contest. The Patriots won a wild one over the Baltimore Ravens 35-31. They will host the winner of the Denver Broncos-Indianapolis Colts contest.
The big news for 49ers fans is that two coordinators will be temporarily off the market for the next week. Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, and Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn have both interviewed for several head coaching jobs, including that of the 49ers. Neither is allowed to accept a job at this point, at least formally, and neither can conduct a second interview until after the conference championships. If one or both of their teams win, they are allowed to interview during that bye week.
The 49ers have kept things relatively close to the vest the last two weeks, so it is hard to tell what the next step is for them in their search for a head coach. If they are waiting for McDaniels or Quinn, that is a bit of a roll of the dice. And if Adam Gase and the Denver Broncos advance on Sunday, it is even more so. If the 49ers are looking at Vic Fangio, Jim Tomsula or Mike Shanahan, and then potentially Kyle Shanahan as an offensive coordinator, they could get something done this week and get things finalized fairly quickly. It is hard to tell for now with the rules surrounding playoff teams.