Three and Out: 'The aftermath,' no scoreboard watching in finale
Depending on how this Sunday shakes out, the 49ers could be anywhere from the first- to sixth-seed in the playoffs. (USATSI)
Entering the final Sunday of the regular season, the 49ers know that they will be in the playoffs for a third consecutive season.
Beyond that, everything is up in the air.
The 49ers do not know what seed they’ll be in the NFC playoffs, where they’ll play during wild-card weekend, or even if they’ll be playing during the first round of the playoffs.
Potentially, there are six games on Sunday that could impact the 49ers’ postseason itinerary (all times Pacific):
Carolina at Atlanta, 10 a.m.
49ers at Arizona, 1:25 p.m.
St. Louis at Seattle, 1:25 p.m.
Green Bay at Chicago, 1:25 p.m.
Tampa Bay at New Orleans, 1:25 p.m.
Philadelphia at Dallas, 5:30 p.m.
* * *
Here is how the outcomes of those games will impact where the 49ers are seeded . . .
The 49ers are No. 1 seed, with:
--49ers win, and Seattle, and Carolina loss
The 49ers are No. 2 seed, with:
--49ers win, and Seattle loss
The 49ers are No. 5 seed, with:
--49ers win, OR
--49ers loss, and New Orleans loss
The 49ers are the No. 6 seed, with:
--49ers loss, and New Orleans win
* * *
And here’s how the 49ers’ seed in the NFC playoffs will determine their potential first-round matchup. . .
If the 49ers are the No. 1 or 2 seed, they will get a first-round bye in the playoffs before playing host to the divisional round of the playoffs at Candlestick Park on Jan. 11 or 12.
If the 49ers are the No. 5 seed, they will play:
--At Green Bay (if Packers win)
--At Chicago (if Bears and Philadelphia win)
--At Dallas (if Cowboys and Chicago win)
If the 49ers are the No. 6 seed, they will play:
--At Philadelphia (if Eagles win)
--At Chicago (if Bears and Dallas win)
--At Dallas (if Cowboys and Green Bay win)
* * *
Dates and times for the playoff games will be announced Sunday evening. It is believed the 49ers would play Saturday, Jan. 4, if they open the playoffs against the NFC North winner, and Sunday, Jan. 5, if matched against the NFC East winner.