Week 13's Monday Night Football showdown involves two AFC teams, but the game does have a noticeable (but minor) impact on the 49ers.
The San Francisco 49ers can feel pretty good about knocking off the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 13, which not only obtained some vengeance for last season's NFC Championship loss but also helped move head coach Kyle Shanahan's squad within one game of the conference's top seed in the playoff picture.
There are now four teams within the NFC in serious contention for top seeding: the 10-2 Eagles, the 9-3 Niners, the 9-3 Dallas Cowboys and the 9-3 Detroit Lions, and Dallas is the lone team not sitting in first place within a division.
With only five more weeks of regular-season football remaining, this is the time of year when tiebreaking procedures begin to come into focus.
And it's why Week 13's Monday Night Football showdown actually matters to a team like San Francisco.
Who is playing Monday Night Football in Week 13?
It's an AFC showdown on Monday Night Football to close out Week 13, as the 8-3 Jacksonville Jaguars host the 5-6 Cincinnati Bengals, who are without quarterback Joe Burrow for the rest of the year because of a wrist injury.
Cincy defeated the Niners during their three-game losing streak earlier this season, but San Francisco responded by handing the Jags a crushing 34-3 defeat in Jacksonville in Week 10.
ESPN will carry the broadcast between the Bengals and Jaguars, which kicks off on Monday, Dec. 4 at 8:15 p.m.
Why do the 49ers care about either Jaguars, Bengals?
Monday Night Football could potentially impact the 49ers, but it wouldn't be by much. Neither the Jags nor the Bengals play the Cowboys or Eagles this season.
However, buried deep on the list of tiebreakers is a team's strength of schedule. It's actually the sixth tiebreaker, shown below:
- Head-to-head (best won-lost-tied percentage in games between the clubs)
- Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the division
- Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games
- Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference
- Strength of victory in all games
- Strength of schedule in all games
- Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed in all games
- Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed in all games
- Best net points in common games
- Best net points in all games
- Best net touchdowns in all games
- Coin toss
Regardless of the outcome, the Niners' strength of schedule will receive a slight boost after Monday night, provided the two teams don't finish with a tie.
And while it would take a lot for the first five tiebreakers to be ineffective in determining where San Francisco ends up being seeded, should the final record not be enough, Monday's game does have a minor bearing.