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Where the 49ers sit in the NFC Playoff race heading into Week 13

The Vikings are in and Washington is out

Minnesota Vikings v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

The NFL playoff picture will change weekly during the next five weeks. Some teams at the bottom will shuffle in and out, while the teams at the top will also have their version of musical chairs. After Week 12 in the NFC, there was no change to the top five seeds, according to the NFL’s official page.

1) Arizona 9-2
2) Green Bay 9-3
3) Tampa Bay 8-3
4) Dallas 7-4
5) Los Angeles 7-4

The Rams, off a bye week, looked inept on offense. All week, we heard that Matthew Stafford was healthy. Then, out of nowhere, reports surfaced Sunday morning that Stafford was still nursing multiple injuries. I’m surprised there hasn’t been more pushback since Stafford wasn’t listed on the injury report all week.

Last week, we discussed how things could get interesting if the 49ers win and the Rams lose. The Rams are 1-2 in the NFC West, while the 49ers are 1-3. So the final seedings will likely come down to the divisional record unless both teams finish with an identical record and the 49ers win in Week 17. That’d give the Niners the head-to-head advantage over the Rams.

Here’s a look at the following five teams. Remember, there are seven seeds in the playoffs, with the No. 1 seed getting a bye:

6) San Francisco 6-5
7) Washington 5-6
8) Minnesota 5-6
9) Atlanta 5-6
10) New Orleans 5-6

Sunday was a massive victory for the 49ers as far as breathing room is concerned. Instead of feeling the pressure to “win out” in fear of falling out of the playoff race, San Francisco can continue to play their style of football.

Could you imagine the tone of the fanbase if Sunday’s result was different and the Niners lost Deebo Samuel and Fred Warner to injury? This place would have been a bloodbath. Thankfully, we don’t have to worry about that as San Francisco is above .500 for the first time since September.

Washington wasn’t impressive on Monday night. Seattle was just bad. Atlanta beat the Jags while the Saints made a quarterback change and are rolling with Taysom Hill. Based on everything I just said, you’d think the Vikings would find their way back to the 7-seed.

The 49ers should turn their sights from hoping to get in to trying to climb the seedings. But, of course, the five seed is likely the ceiling unless the Cardinals have a free fall in December.

Here’s my question to you, which team would you rather play in the playoffs, assuming the 49ers can’t get any higher than the 5-seed?

Poll

Which team would you rather the 49ers play in the first round?

This poll is closed

  • 9%
    At Tampa Bay facing Tom Brady
    (174 votes)
  • 72%
    In Jerry’s world against Dak Prescott
    (1269 votes)
  • 17%
    In the frozen tundra at Lambeau Field against Aaron Rodgers
    (299 votes)
1742 votes total Vote Now