What 49ers need to do to secure No. 1 seed in NFC playoff picture

How can the Niners wind up with the top seed in the conference, which would mean home-field advantage throughout the playoffs and a first-round bye?
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13)
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13) / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages
3 of 3

What 49ers can't control

Currently, despite the win over Philadelphia, the 49ers are still a game behind the Eagles. The next two games for the NFC East leaders are both on the road against Dallas and Seattle. San Francisco fans (players and staff) may be watching these two games closely as this is the best chance for the Eagles to dip in the standings.

It's weird to think the 49ers and their fans may actually be rooting for two of their team's biggest rivals to win against Philly. But that's the case here.

For the Cowboys, they have a tougher close to the season as they host Philadelphia this week. Then, three of their final four games are on the road. Dallas will travel to take on the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins in consecutive weeks. Next, the Cowboys will host the NFC North leaders, the Lions.

No team in the NFC South can threaten the Niners' chances for the No. 1 seed, while Detroit has the same 9-3 record as San Francisco and no contest against each other during the regular season.

There is a Week 17 matchup on the road against Dallas for the Lions. Surrounding that is a pair of games versus the Minnesota Vikings.

San Francisco has an easier schedule than Dallas and Detroit to wrap up the regular season. As such, the No. 1 seed is well in play.

Wins from some AFC East teams against Dallas, a pair of wins from the New York Giants over the Eagles, and a pair of wins from Minnesota over Detroit can all help the 49ers out.

The Niners need to do what they do best: win games and ride their momentum to close the season. With the advantage of hosting the NFC Championship game, they would be in control of their destiny to return to the Super Bowl.

Read more from Niner Noise