49ers playoff odds improve ahead of Week 11 vs. Jacksonville

Nov 15, 2021; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers fans cheer during action against the Los Angeles Rams in the third quarter at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 15, 2021; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers fans cheer during action against the Los Angeles Rams in the third quarter at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports /

As many of us 49ers fans were reliving old breakups with the release of Red (Taylor Swift’s Version), San Francisco was healing our hearts by getting back into the playoff mix.

With eight games remaining on the schedule, the San Francisco 49ers still control their destiny. Yes, the postseason remains in play despite how shaky things have been.

Currently, San Francisco sits ninth in the playoff picture, behind the Carolina Panthers and Minnesota Vikings. You can view the playoff layout here.

Theoretically, the toughest part of the schedule is behind them. The 49ers went 2-5 against some of their biggest rivals and could’ve had a better record if they got wins against the Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks, and Arizona Cardinals (the first meeting).

They lost to these teams by seven points or less.

If you’re into percentages, FiveThirtyEight.com has the Niners sitting at a 39-percent chance of qualifying for the postseason. Five of San Francisco’s remaining opponents are listed lower.

So it’s not like this team can’t make some noise down the stretch and into the playoffs.

49ers must win vs. Vikings in Week 12

Every game will be a must-win for San Francisco. But one of the most important matchups will be against the Vikings.

Minnesota currently sits just outside a Wild Card spot with a 4-5 record. If both teams finish with the same record and a playoff spot on the line, whoever wins this game could be in the dance.

The Niners have a 24-23-1 record against the Vikings. San Francisco does have the latest edge with a win in the NFC divisional round in 2019, which sent them to the NFC Championship versus Green Bay.

The 49ers will hope to steal a win in the regular season, which hasn’t been easy the last five matchups. Minnesota currently owns a 4-1 record in these meetings.

49ers have favorable matchups elsewhere on NFL schedule

Five of the 49ers remaining eight games come against teams with losing records, including Sunday versus the Jaguars.

If the Niners want to make the postseason, they’ll need to win at least four to stay relevant in the race. In a perfect world, they should defeat teams like Jacksonville, the Atlanta Falcons and the Houston Texans. With a toss-up between the Seattle Seahawks and Vikings.

San Francisco also takes on the Cincinnati Bengals. The 49ers will get their first look at quarterback Joe Burrow and rookie superstar wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase. Both players have turned the Bengals from basement dwellers to future contenders.

Cincinnati is fighting for a playoff spot with the Los Angeles Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders, all with 5-4 records.

49ers toughest remaining games

Despite a very winnable final stretch, the Tennessee Titans and Los Angeles Rams are still in front of the San Francisco.

Tennessee boasts one of the top offenses, even with running back Derrick Henry out with a foot injury, Adrian Peterson continues to surprise us all. The 49ers haven’t had a great run defense, so they’ll need to figure it out quickly. It could be an exciting Thursday Night Football, with major playoff implications for both teams.

Read More: 5 crazy surprises from 49ers Week 10 win over Rams

Even though San Francisco has a five-game winning streak against the Rams, they’re still a threat. These two teams will meet in the last game of the year in an afternoon matinee. This one won’t determine who wins the division, but it could determine where they finish in the standings.

For some reason, the 49ers play their best football against LA. Could it be just an NFC West rivalry? Could it be the blatant disrespect Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald showed 49ers receiver Deebo Samuel last season after the Rams lost another game to San Francisco?

Whatever it is, the 49ers currently love playing the Rams.

San Francisco will still need help from other teams to make their playoff dreams a reality, but the best thing they can do is finish the season off with a winning record and hope luck is finally back on their side.

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