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The 49ers have clinched the No. 1 seed in the NFC

The playoffs will run through Levi’s Stadium

San Francisco 49ers v Washington Commanders Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

The 49ers needed all of the help they could get heading into Week 17 to clinch the No. 1 seed in the NFC. And boy, did they receive it. The Detroit Lions fell to the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday night.

The Lions had a couple of opportunities to convert on a two-point conversion, but failed. Today, San Francisco needed the Arizona Cardinals to go on the road and beat the Philadelphia Eagles.

The odds seemed unlikely. The Cardinals were down at halftime 21-6. Arizona stormed back and won 35-31. What a shock.

And the bigger development here, aside from the obvious that the 49ers are now the No. 1 seed and won’t have to leave Santa Clara, is that the 49ersget to rest up. Christian McCaffrey didn’t return to the Commanders’ game thanks to a calf injury.

Now, McCaffrey gets two weeks of rest. Arik Armstead has missed multiple weeks. He can take off another two. And players like Nick Bosa and Javon Hargrave can also get off their feet.

We all remember how rejuvenated the defense looked at the beginning of the season and post bye. Maybe it’s not fair to expect the same, but they’ve been incredible when they’re fresh.

And it’s not just the stars that get a chance to get healthy. Aaron Banks didn’t play today. Neither did Jauan Jennings or Aaron Banks. The entire team gets to press the reset button.