The Niner Noise Podcast has been in a pretty good groove throughout the season, bringing you reaction episodes after each San Francisco 49ers game, win or lose, and then previewing the upcoming week's matchup to get listeners ready for the next game.
But this week provided an interesting challenge.
For one, the Niners' Week 18 contest against the Los Angeles Rams was a meaningless game, essentially for both sides, so your hosts — site contributors Robert Morrison and Akshaj Dwivedula — didn't spend much time recapping the Niners' 21-20 loss since the ramifications of the game were basically nil.
On top of that, the 49ers earned the NFC's No. 1 overall seed and a first-round bye in the playoffs, meaning they won't play a game this upcoming weekend during the Wild Card round, so there's no matchup for your hosts to break down or predict the final score for.
Instead, much of the focus was on two things: previewing the upcoming NFC Wild Card matchups and wrapping up the 2023 regular season by handing out some team-specific awards for San Francisco.
You can listen to the full podcast below:
After briefly touching on the Week 18 game, the discussion moved to looking at each of the NFC Wild Card matchups with some detail, starting with Sunday afternoon's contest between the NFC East champion Cowboys and the Green Bay Packers.
They then moved onto Sunday night's marquee matchup between the NFC North winning Detroit Lions and the aforementioned Rams, a game that will feature the return of Rams' quarterback Matthew Stafford to Detroit, a place he played the first 12 years of his career in before being traded to the Rams in 2021 for a package that included now-Lions' starting signal-caller Jared Goff.
The weekend ends with the Eagles traveling to Tampa to take on the Buccaneers, an interesting matchup that could, depending on how the first two games go, determine who the 49ers will host in the divisional round the following weekend.
Tune in wherever you get your podcasts to see how your hosts expect these three matchups to end.
This week's episode ends with 49ers' team-specific awards, including team MVP, Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, among other distinctions. After such a quality season, it should come as no surprise that there are differing opinions on which award should go where, but nobody is wrong.
As always, you can listen to the Niner Noise Podcast wherever you get your podcasts or you can visit the show's RedCircle site to listen or check out the archives.