The San Francisco 49ers are not going to the playoffs this year, or anytime soon, but there is still plenty of reason to be at least moderately interested in playoff football. There are plenty of rooting and jeering interests for 49ers fans, so we will be keeping an eye on things over the next month.
The Seahawks are just about set to finish off the 49ers for their 10th win. That locks them into the No. 3 seed. They had a shot at No. 2, but the Atlanta Falcons win over the New Orleans Saints ended that chance.
The playoff schedule is just about set, with Sunday Night Football between the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions left to settle the final bracket. However, these two teams will be in one of only two positions, so it is not too much to figure out. Washington’s loss to the New York Giants means the winner claims the NFC North and the No. 4 seed. That team will host the New York Giants next weekend. The loser will claim a wild card berth and the No. 6 seed. They will travel to face the Seattle Seahawks next weekend.
The rest of the NFC playoff bracket looks as follows, barring a tie:
1. Dallas Cowboys (13-3)
2. Atlanta Falcons (11-5)
3. Seattle Seahawks (10-5-1)
4. Green Bay Packers/Detroit Lions (10-6)
5. New York Giants (11-5)
6. Green Bay Packers/Detroit Lions (9-7)
On the AFC side, the Oakland Raiders went from looking at the No. 2 seed and a chance to make some noise with Derek Carr, to the No. 5 seed and a big question at quarterback. Carr suffered a broken leg last week, and the Raiders switched to Matt McGloin. He then suffered a shoulder injury this week, and Connor Cook took over. They will travel to face the Houston Texans next week. The other AFC wild card round matchup will feature the Pittsburgh Steelers hosting the Miami Dolphins.
The Kansas City Chiefs thumped the San Diego Chargers to move into a tie with the Raiders. The Chiefs swept the season series, so they win the division and the No. 2 seed that comes with it. Alex Smith & Co. will look to finally advance beyond the divisional round. In 2013 they lost in the wild card round. In 2015, they won in the wild card round and then lost in the divisional round. The bye will certainly be a big help for Kansas City.
Here is the rest of the AFC playoff bracket:
1. New England Patriots (14-2)
2. Kansas City Chiefs (12-4)
3. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5)
4. Houston Texans (9-7)
5. Oakland Raiders (12-4)
6. Miami Dolphins (10-6)