5 teams that could stand in the way of 49ers Super Bowl hopes

Mason Crosby #2 of the Green Bay Packers (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Mason Crosby #2 of the Green Bay Packers (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
2 of 5
Sean McVay, Los Angeles Rams
Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

49ers Challenger No. 4: Los Angeles Rams

Speaking of those 9-4 Rams, their win over the Arizona Cardinals on Monday Night Football in Week 14 surely was impressive, and it shook up the top of the NFC standings by bumping Arizona down to the No. 3 spot in the seeding.

Additionally, it also increased Los Angeles’ lead over the Niners to two full games with four games left to play, one of which will be against each other in Week 18.

Granted, there’s a lot to be determined between now and then. The Rams could potentially have clinched the highest spot possible without risking any dropping off in the standings, prompting head coach Sean McVay to rest his starters in a manner not unlike what he did in Week 17 back in 2017 when San Francisco won that game.

Considering how bunched up the NFC is right now, though, that scenario doesn’t seem likely.

If there is some recent history, though, head coach Kyle Shanahan has won five games in a row over McVay, including the 49ers’ home edition of this NFC West rivalry earlier this year, so it’s always possible the Niners are put in a position to leapfrog LA on the final week of the regular season.

No, the Rams don’t want that. They want the toughest road possible for San Francisco in the postseason, especially if these two teams suddenly find themselves facing off against each other in a playoff context.