The 49ers are idle in Week 9, but Sunday Night Football provides an AFC showdown that could potentially be a playoff matchup preview.
Week 9 is a perfect week to have stress-free football, and that's probably what a lot of San Francisco 49ers fans are feeling after a three-game losing streak that cost the Niners not only the top seed in the conference for now, but also the top spot in the NFC West.
Needless to say, San Francisco fans are going to be Ravens fans this weekend. And with the 49ers on their bye week, it's time to tune into football without worrying too much about what happens to the red and gold.
Although there is some slight interest in games, even beyond the Hawks and Ravens.
In fact, Sunday Night Football this week even has an ever-so-slight impact on the Niners' playoff outlook.
Here's who is playing for the primetime showdown.
Bengals host Bills on Sunday Night Football in Week 9
Despite the above-.500 record, Cincy currently sits last in the contested AFC North, while Buffalo is second in the AFC East, trailing the division-leading Miami Dolphins.
Should Cincinnati win, it might benefit the 49ers in a small way by increasing the strength-of-schedule tiebreaker, which could play a role in determining playoff seeding this January. Additionally, both the Bengals and Bills may wind up squaring off against each other again once the playoffs roll around, provided both squads make the postseason.
That's a ways away, though.
Fans wishing to tune into Sunday night's broadcast between the Bills and Bengals can watch on NBC, which will televise the game nationally, starting at 8:20 p.m. and airing from Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati.