With the 49ers playing the Cardinals on Monday night, the Seahawks on a bye, and the Rams' season on life support, there isn’t an NFC West game on Sunday with much meaning to the 49ers' playoff standing. The 49ers enter Week 11 as the No. 7 seed in the NFC, but a win on Monday night would give the 49ers first place in the NFC West and launch them to the No. 3 seed overall in the NFC.
Despite no NFC West games with implications for the 49ers, there are a few that could impact the NFC playoff picture down the road.
Eagles (8-1) at Colts (4-5-1) - 10 AM PT, CBS
The Eagles have a decent three-game cushion over the 49ers, but there’s still plenty of season left for the 49ers to close that gap. Now would be as good of a time as any for the Eagles to start stacking losses after suffering their first loss of the season Monday night to the Commanders. They take on an upstart Colts team who won Jeff Saturday’s first game as a head coach last week against the Raiders and is looking to ride that momentum. The Colts have already pulled off one unexpected win this season, a Week 3 win over the Chiefs for their first win of the season.
A Colts win paired with a 49er win Monday night would move the 49ers within two games of the top spot in the NFC. It might be a bit premature to focus on that, but if the 49ers can move into the top spot in the NFC West, the next logical goal would be to look toward the top of the conference.
Lions (3-6) at Giants (7-2) - 10 AM, FOX
The Giants currently hold a two-game lead over the 49ers in the NFC and will be a team to monitor if the 49ers don’t finish the season atop of the NFC West. New York wasn’t expected to be remotely close to a playoff spot in the month of November but is in a good position to finish in the top seven in the NFC. Sunday, they host a Lions team coming off of back-to-back wins and are looking for their first three-game winning streak since 2017.
New York shouldn’t be much of a concern for the 49ers if the plan is to win the NFC West as it should be but in case the 49ers enter the playoffs as a wild card, a Giants loss would move the 49ers closer to having a better chance to host a playoff game.
Cowboys (6-3) at Vikings (8-1) - 1:25 PM, CBS
This is the biggest choose-your-own adventure game of the weekend for the 49ers. A Cowboys loss would benefit a 49ers team that doesn’t win the NFC West as it would remove them further from NFC East contention and could solidify them as an, at best wild card team. However, a Cowboys win would be a benefit to a 49ers team that does win the NFC West as it looks like the NFC North is all but over as the Vikings hold a four-game lead in the win column with eight games remaining, including Week 11.
A Vikings loss and 49ers win on Monday would move San Francisco to not just the No. 3 seed in the NFC but also two games behind the Vikings for the No. 2 seed (and the No. 1 seed if the Eagles lose as well).
Either result could be a benefit for the 49ers, but again, there’s no reason not to shoot for the moon and hope the 49ers can win the NFC West. If that’s the case, a Cowboys win would mean more for the 49ers than the Vikings picking up a win on Sunday.