clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

49ers rooting guide for Week 16: The 5-seed is still in play with a Rams loss

This will be today’s game thread

Los Angeles Rams v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday with their family and had a good time. Week 16 is still in the works. The Cardinals' loss to the Colts dropped them to the 5-seed and gave them five losses on Saturday night. That also propped the Rams to the 3-seed.

With a Rams loss to the Vikings today, they’ll swap spots again with Arizona. Depending on your goal, either outcome works for San Francisco. The 49ers have the tiebreaker over Minnesota since they beat the Vikings head to head. So, the Niners would remain in the 6-seed with the same record as the Vikings even with a Minnesota win.

A Rams win would knock the Vikings out of the 7-seed and pave the way for the Eagles for the last spot. Los Angeles owns the tiebreaker over Tampa Bay, so if they win, they’ll remain in the 3-seed no matter what the Bucs do. If they stay in the 3-seed, and things don’t change for the 49ers, Week 18 would be a preview of the first round of the playoffs.

If the Vikings beat the Rams today, they hold the tie break over the Eagles based on best win percentage in common games. They also have the tie break over the Saints based on best win percentage in conference games. So, today means a lot for Minnesota, who plays at home.

Dallas holds the tie break over the Rams and Bucs based on best win percentage in conference games, so they’ll remain the two seed if each team wins. It’ll be fascinating to see how Kyle Shanahan plays Week 18 based on the playoff scenarios.

The Packers have to beat the Vikings at home next Sunday or the Lions on the road in Week 18 to clinch home-field advantage, so let’s operate as if Green Bay is the No. 1 seed.

With that in mind, A Niners win over the Texans next week should be enough for this team to make it into the playoffs. The only remaining question is who they’d play. I initially wanted to face Arizona, and you’ve seen why during the past month. The Rams would have to slip up for that to happen. I’d take a familiar foe in the Rams over Tom Brady at home or Dak Prescott, those weapons, and that pass rush.

There’s no right answer, but playing out the scenarios is a fun exercise. You will go back and forth deciding who you want to play. Eventually, if you want to win it all, you’ll have to face each team unless you’re banking on upsets.

Today, the 7-7 Eagles face Jake Fromm and the Giants at home. That should be a win. The Saints are 7-7 and starting rookie QB Ian Book at home against the Dolphins.