49ers playoff scenarios: Which possible outcome is best?

Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers
Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers(Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images) /

49ers and the No. 1 seed

Road to the No. 1 seed:

  • The San Francisco 49ers defeats the Arizona Cardinals and the New York Giants defeat the Philadelphia Eagles

Path in the playoffs:

The No. 1 seed comes with it the obvious advantage of a week off before the divisional playoff round, but there also comes one big disadvantage.

Namely, the quite likely opponent of the Philadelphia Eagles or the Dallas Cowboys that will stand in front of the 49ers, should they get it.

The 49ers can’t play the No. 2 or No. 3 seed, which rules out the NFC East winner (the Eagles or Cowboys) or the Minnesota Vikings, who are both locked into those seeds in whichever order it ends up in with this scenario.

The No. 4 seed will be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a team that could very well be home underdogs against the NFC East runner up (again, the Eagles or Cowboys). Both the Eagles and the Cowboys have been a much superior team to the Buccaneers this season, and present a much more complete challenge for the 49ers.

There is also some room for a relatively easier opponent if the Giants in the No. 6 seed or the No. 7 seed (the Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers or Detroit Lions). The 49ers have swept the Seahawks, have had the Packers number in the playoffs and are a more complete team in just about every way than the Lions.

But the potential of a Cowboys or Eagles matchup awaiting the 49ers will give them pause for thought.