No. 1: Get matched up against the NFC East
Let’s be clear right from the top: No playoff game against any opponent can be taken lightly or laughed off, especially if that team is playing at home.
However in saying that, some teams (and divisions) are not as challenging as others. The NFC East is part of that category.
No team is currently above .500 for the season. The Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles are seeing who can limp harder into first, the Washington Redskins staggeringly are not yet eliminated at 3-9, and the New York Giants are… well, they actually are eliminated.
Nonetheless, this is probably the weakest division in football. Likely to be the Cowboys or Eagles, unless the Redskins pull off a miracle, the eventual division winner has not been impressive up to now.
If the 49ers are unable to finish as the No. 1 or No. 2 seed, their biggest wish would be to remain as the No. 5 seed and be drawn against the NFC East winner who seems destined to finish at No. 4.
A road game isn’t ideal, but if the Niners wanted to play anyone on the road it would be one of the underachieving teams from the NFC East.