On Sunday, it looked like the Panthers were going to beat the Saints. A missed field goal and a couple of coverage busts prevented Carolina from coming away with a victory. For a brief moment, the Eagles had the upper hand on the Seahawks, but the ball bounced Seattle’s way like it always does, and they won as well.
The San Francisco 49ers could have entered Sunday night with an extra game lead on the No. 1 seed as well as the NFC West, but they didn’t get any help. At this point, the only thing you can expect is help from yourself—which is exactly what the 49ers did against the Packers.
Let’s use 538 NFL Playoff predictions and Playoff Predictors for seeding. The 49ers have a 98% chance to make the playoffs, per 538. Their odds to win the division and get a first-round bye are a little better than a coin flip. San Francisco is listed at 58% to win the NFC West, and 53% to get a bye. The Niners do have the third-best odds to win the Super Bowl, at 13%.
As of today, the NFC playoff picture looks like:
The NFL playoff picture as of today pic.twitter.com/pl6TNynTKA— SB Nation (@SBNation) November 25, 2019
You can see my simulations here, but I only have San Francisco losing once for the rest of the season. Here’s how I predicted the NFC to turnout:
1) 49ers 14-2
2) Vikings 13-3
3) Saints 13-3
4) Eagles 10-6
5) Seattle 12-4
6) Packers 12-4
The Vikings control their destiny, despite losing to the Packers. Those two still have a head-to-head matchup this season. Minnesota also has a matchup with Seattle, who keeps sneaking by. I don’t want to go on a tangent, but there hasn’t been a game this season where I’ve been impressed by Seattle. They barely got by the Eagle, who trotted out J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Jordan Matthews, and Greg Ward as their three receivers this past Sunday, so forgive me if I’m not going to crown the Seahawks.
Whoever wins the Eagles and Cowboys next matchup probably makes the playoffs.
December 29 will likely determine the No. 1 seed in the NFC when the 49ers travel to Seattle. It’s crazy when you go through these simulations and always come away with a 12-win team having the final two playoff spots.
For what it’s worth, Seattle currently has a 40% chance to win their division and a 29% chance at a first-round bye. If you’re wondering why we haven’t mentioned the Rams, well, 1) we’ve seen them play, and 2) before last night’s game against the Ravens Los Angeles had a 25% at the playoffs and a 1% chance to win their division.
San Francisco can clinch this weekend with a win and a loss by the Rams.