The San Francisco 49ers soon take the field in Glendale against the Arizona Cardinals. When they do, the thoughts of many a fan will not only be on the game at hand, but also on another about 1,400 miles north between the St. Louis Rams and the Seattle Seahawks. This, of course, is due to the simple fact that a victory by St. Louis would be extremely beneficial to the 49ers, giving them a bye in the playoffs if they can pull out a win in University of Phoenix Stadium.
Seattle, having lost one game at home in the past two years, seems unlikely to lose — especially after a disappointing finish to their game last week. They are a good team that is even better at home. The Rams, by contrast, have turned it on late in the season after losing Sam Bradford. Injuries have not been kind to them, but star defensive end Chris Long is probable after a scare last week. The Rams are 13 point underdogs, for good reason. Nevertheless, do not be shocked if they make it a good game or perhaps pull of the upset. I would not expect it to happen, but I can hope, right?
As for San Francisco, the 49ers are by no means shoo-ins in Week 17. In fact, they are 3 point underdogs to the talented Cardinals — who are playing at quite a high level right now. I do think the 49ers are being overlooked by many pundits who have fallen for Bruce Arians and the Cardinals excellent win last week. I expect the 49ers to win this one, but I think its for the best that they are flying under the radar right now. That’s just how Jim Harbaugh likes it.
The next few hours could change the playoff outlook in the NFC, especially for the 49ers, and perhaps for the history of Candlestick Park.