The San Francisco 49ers own the No. 1 seed in the 2020 NFL playoffs, and Niner Noise breaks down five key storylines to watch as the Niners seek Super Bowl win No. 6.
It wasn’t easy. But the San Francisco 49ers managed to stave off the Seattle Seahawks on the road in Week 17, pulling off the thrilling 26-21 win en route to securing both the NFC West crown and top seed in the conference.
The No. 1 seed comes with the obvious benefits: a first-round playoff bye and home-field advantage up through the NFC Championship game, should the Niners get that far.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan’s squad will wait with anticipating to see which NFC teams pull off victories in the conference’s Wild Card round, which will feature the No. 6 seed, the Minnesota Vikings, visiting the No. 3 seed, the New Orleans Saints. Meanwhile, the Seahawks will travel to take on the NFC East winners, the Philadelphia Eagles.
So it’s perfectly possible the Seahawks will face San Francisco again, should they pull off a road win in Philly and the Vikings lose on the road in New Orleans.
That’s the first of five key storylines for San Francisco as they enter the postseason for the first time since 2014.
No. 5: A Potential Playoff Rematch with the Seahawks
It’s not the happiest of memories for 49ers fans, who’ll recall how Seattle dispatched San Francisco in the 2014 NFC Championship game the last time these two teams met in the playoffs.
That was, of course, the infamous tip-drill interception in the waning seconds by now-Niners cornerback Richard Sherman, who was defending then-wide receiver Michael Crabtree.
The Seahawks would go on to win that game, of course, eventually pulling off a victory in the Super Bowl over the Denver Broncos. And while many of the cast members have either left or even changed sides, the memory of the game is still awfully fresh among the Faithful.
The Seahawks, of course, also spoiled San Francisco’s then-perfect record this season, pulling off their own 27-24 overtime victory at Levi’s Stadium back in Week 10. But that was negated by the Niners’ own prime-time win in Week 17.
So, should the Seahawks advance beyond the Eagles in the Wild Card round, there’s an excellent chance for a final game three between these two hated NFC West rivals.
And there’s little doubt that’ll be must-watch television.