NFL playoff picture: How 49ers’ loss to Titans affects NFC wild card race in Week 16

The 49ers took a 10-0 lead and lost to the Titans 20-17 on aggregate in “Thursday Night Football” to open Week 16. While Tennessee needed that lousy win and headed for another AFC South title With a score of 10-5, San Francisco’s record fell to 8-7 when they tried to chase an NFC wildcard stop.

Let’s analyze the impact of the 49ers’ loss in the NFL playoffs with the remaining two games on their 2021 schedule.

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NFL Playoff Image: 49ers . NFC Wild Card Chance

The 49ers did not swap positions after their defeat. They are still the 6th seed in the NFC knockout round. That situation is unlikely to change much (if at all) with the results of Week 16’s weekend games.

However, San Francisco can say goodbye to a win at the NFC West as they have to go through two games against Arizona (10-4) and Los Angeles (10-4) with three games remaining. Now, with two games left, Kyle Shanahan’s team can focus on reaching the knockout stages with one of the last two spots behind the Rams.

Seventh-seeded Vikings (7-7), Eagles (7-7) and Saints (7-7) are the three NFC teams right behind the 49ers, just half a game into their game. But the good news for the 49ers is that the Vikings are an underdog home compared to the Rams, and the Saints now share that same status as the Dolphins after being hit hard by testing positive for COVID-19 and other injuries. Best bet on Eagles to win at home against Giants.

San Francisco has been in good shape against this evolving situation by beating both Philadelphia (Week 2) and Minnesota (Week 12) in key early-season games. The 49ers will also have a head-to-head win if they are alone with the Saints in the standings with a score of 8-7, thanks to a better head-to-head record (6-5 vs 5-5).

Although the 49ers’ playoff probability has decreased by some, it is still very favorable because of those realities. San Francisco also has a date with Houston with a big chance to win Week 17.

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Among Vikings, Eagles and Saints, Eagles have the highest chance of winning. They will face the Giants and the Washington Soccer Team before the Week 18 game against the Cowboys, and Dallas will likely take the start of the season off that point in the season. The Vikings also needed to play the Packers in Week 17. The Saints finished with the Panthers and Falcons after the Dolphins, but they lost to both split enemies earlier in the season.

The biggest thing that could help the 49ers is if the Cardinals or Rams can win the NFC West before Week 18. That would allow both teams to rest their players before playing in the knockout stages next week. . San Francisco will benefit from that as they will play Los Angeles, which they also beat earlier (Week 10), to close out the season.

Of the four NFC teams with seven losses, two will be members of the seven-team playoff field. The 49ers’ background could be strong enough to be one of them, with either the Vikings or the Eagles going to have an edge over the other.

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