The San Francisco 49ers missed out on a chance of having a bye on the last Sunday of the regular season. This means that the 49ers will have to play on the road — at ice cold Lambeau Field, no less — which is not exactly the most exciting proposition for any team in the NFL. There is one big positive that comes out of having to play this week, even if it does not apply to this season whatsoever.
NFL teams with coaching vacancies can interview candidates who do not have current obligations to teams (i.e. missed the playoffs) or who coach for teams with a bye in the playoffs, and thus a week off. (This was the case last year for offensive coordinator Greg Roman, who was, in my opinion surprisingly, passed over, unfortunately for him.) Without the chance to interview Roman, Vic Fangio, or Jim Tomsula this week, or for as long as the 49ers stay in the playoffs, head-coach needy teams will interview rival candidates. Teams are always quite hasty to fill the void of head coach (as opposed to CEOs and heads of other organizations, which usually take about 4 months to fill after intense searching and vetting.) Thus, though teams may often miss badly with a head coach, they also leave many options unapproached, due to the above restrictions on interviewing playoff-obligated coaches.
Though Roman, Fangio, and Tomsula, all deserving head coach candidates, may once again get the short end of the stick when it comes to coaching searches, the 49ers will have a much better chance of continued stability on the coaching staff due to having to play this coming week.