The NFC playoff picture is much clearer heading into Week 17 than it was a week ago. In the San Francisco 49ers case, depending on what happens against the Seahawks, the Niners can be the No. 1, 5, or 6 seed. Let’s walk through each scenario.
San Francisco is currently the No. 1 seed. If they beat the Seahawks, that will stay the same. The 49ers will go into the playoffs as the top seed with a playoff bye and have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. The extra week of rest would be a much-needed breather for this team. They’ve battled, and look exhausted. A win also means you get back, Dee Ford, and possibly Kwon Alexander. You name it; it’s riding on this game.
If the Niners somehow lose to Seattle, and the Vikings beat the Bears, San Francisco is the No. 5 seed. If the 49ers lose, and Green Bay loses in Week 17, the 49ers will have to be in the Wildcard round on the road as the five seed.
If the Vikings would have beaten the Packers on Monday night football, the 49ers could have had the following scenario happen and they would have ended up as the sixth seed.
If the Vikings win their next two games, they hold the tiebreaker over San Francisco if the 49ers were to lose in Week 17. It comes down to common games for the tiebreaker. Minnesota will have beaten the Falcons, which gives them a one-game lead in this scenario, which would drop the 49ers to the sixth seed. Yes, a lot would be wrapped up had the 49ers taken care of business in Week 15, but you can play the “if” game in just about every game with every team. Football doesn’t work like that.
They forgot to show up, so there’s nothing to worry about here.
Seahawks playoff scenarios
Seattle has a chance to be every seed but the fourth and sixth seed. If Seattle wins in Week 17, while the Saints lose and the Packers win, the Seahawks will be the top seed.
Seattle can gain the No. 2 seed by winning Week 17, having Green Bay split lose in Week 17, and New Orleans beating the Panthers. The same goes for the three seed; the Seahawks would need the Packers to win both games.
When Seattle loses to San Francisco in Week 17, they could end up as the fifth seed if the Vikings lose, or both Minnesota and Green Bay lose in Week 17.