The Week 17 game in San Francisco counted for a lot. If they lost, they risked falling down to a wildcard team with a Seattle Seahawks win over the Arizona Cardinals. Luckily, they didn't put themselves in that situation. They defeated the Cardinals by a score of 27-13, and then they sat back and probably watched the Packers-Vikings game.
Here's why: if the Packers won (which they didn't), Green Bay would earn the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye. Since they lost, that seed and first-round bye falls to San Francisco, who now get to rest for a week before hosting a Divisional game. This is obviously a huge advantage when it comes to making it to the conference championship.
Colin Kaepernick, Jim Harbaugh and company should write Adrian Peterson and the rest of the Vikings a massive thank-you card for handing them a guaranteed home playoff game and a week off instead of making them host a wildcard team the very next week.