49ers playoff picture: Week 15 rooting guide for Niners fans

Janarius Robinson #95 of the Minnesota Vikings and Julie'n Davenport #73 of the Indianapolis Colts (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
Janarius Robinson #95 of the Minnesota Vikings and Julie'n Davenport #73 of the Indianapolis Colts (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

With the 49ers getting a win on Thursday Night Football over the Seahawks, fans can sit back and hope the rest of the weekend goes the Niners’ way.

The San Francisco 49ers already accomplished the most important thing they needed to do in Week 15: beat the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday Night Football and clinch the NFC West for the first time since 2019.

The Niners’ 21-13 victory on Thursday night puts head coach Kyle Shanahan’s team at 10-4 on the season.

Currently, in the outlook for the NFL playoffs, San Francisco holds the No. 3 seed in the NFC, and it won’t drop out of the top four by way of having won a division. And considering the lowly NFC South is likely to be won by a team barely getting above the .500 mark, it’s probably a safe bet the 49ers won’t be falling to the No. 4 seed with just three more weeks in the regular season left.

Related Story: Niners clinch NFC West after beating Seahawks on Thursday night

The Niners won’t play until Saturday, Dec. 24, meaning the remaining set of NFL games for Week 15 on Saturday and Sunday can merely be enjoyed and watched by San Francisco fans without too much stress.

However, that won’t stop fans from rooting for a few teams in order to help the 49ers out just a little, right?

NFL playoffs picture: 49ers rooting guide for Week 15 games

The Niners are just about locked into being no lower than the No. 3 seed, but it’s still possible they climb in the rankings.

Currently, the top seven seeds in the NFC are as follows, with Nos. 1 through 4 being division leaders/winners:

  1. Philadelphia Eagles (12-1)
  2. Minnesota Vikings (10-3)
  3. San Francisco 49ers (10-4)
  4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-7)
  5. Dallas Cowboys (10-3)
  6. Washington Commanders (7-5-1)
  7. New York Giants (7-5-1)

If the season was to end today, San Francisco would host their Week 16 opponent, the Commanders. Yet we know the season won’t end today anyway.

Instead, let’s take a look at the Week 15 games the 49ers will pay attention to.

Colts @ Vikings — Saturday, Dec. 17

The 4-8-1 Colts probably don’t stand much of a chance on the road against the No. 2-seeded Vikings, but if Minnesota loses, it’d have the same record as the Niners.

And San Francisco would own the tiebreaker by virtue of having a better conference record.

Root for Colts

Bengals @ Buccaneers — Sunday, Dec. 18

As of now, the 49ers have a 3.5-game lead over the fourth-seeded Bucs, and the head-to-head tiebreaker is nice.

Assuming Tampa Bay wins the NFC South, it’ll stay at No. 4 in playoff seeding, and the 9-4 Bengals can help ensure the Buccaneers don’t threaten the 49ers whatsoever, even though that’d take an epic collapse to end the year on the Niners’ part.

Root for Bengals

Eagles @ Bears — Sunday, Dec. 18

There’s always hope, right?

OK, so the 3-10 Bears have almost no shot at defeating the top-seeded, one-loss Eagles on Sunday. But stranger things have happened.

Sure, the No. 1 seed might be a bit too out of reach for San Francisco, but it’s still remotely in play, and chances would be better if Chicago somehow pulled off an improbable win.

Root for Bears

Rams @ Packers — Monday, Dec. 19

Alright, so the Rams aren’t going to be making the playoffs anyway, although it’s still weird for 49ers fans to root for a division rival.

However, LA can eliminate the Packers from postseason contention on Monday Night Football, and that’d be grand to see in prime time.

Root for Rams

Next. Grades, analysis from 49ers' division-clinching win vs. Seahawks. dark