The San Francisco 49ers won't have an easy road as they close out the regular season. Trips to visit the New England Patriots and division rival Seattle Seahawks are picking up more and more meaning each week as dominos fall in the wrong direction for the 49ers. They previously looked like a solid lock to hold on to the No. 2 seed in the NFC, but the Green Bay Packers and Seahawks are creeping up on them.
A loss to the Patriots, combined with a Seahawks win over the Buffalo Bills next weekend, means their week 16 match-up could cost the 49ers the division lead if they lose to Seattle. Meanwhile, one slip up and the Packers winning out means the 49ers would lose out on the No. 2 seed as well.
No matter what happens, the 49ers are virtually assured a playoff spot, but holding on to the No. 2 overall seed and a bye for the opening round of the playoffs is the most important thing. Still, if things keep going the wrong way for the 49ers, they could find themselves playing on the first weekend of the divisional playoffs.