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2011 NFL Playoffs: San Francisco 49ers Will Benefit From Weak Strength Of Schedule

The San Francisco 49ers have essentially wrapped up the NFC West and are looking to clinch a birth in the playoffs for the first time in nearly a decade. With many teams around the league scratching and clawing each week as they attempt to improve their place in the division and wildcard standings, the 49ers should not have any problems in the final month of the season.

From weeks 13 to 17, San Francisco will face five teams with a combined record of 20-35. Of those 20 wins, eight of them belong to the Pittsburgh Steelers, who will play the 49ers in week 15. Other than Pittsburgh, the team should not have any problems; they play the St. Louis Rams (2-9) twice, @ the Arizona Cardinals (4-7) and @ the Seattle Seahawks (4-7). According to Football Outsiders, the 49ers have the easiest remaining schedule of any team in the league.

It is imperative for San Francisco to not lose focus as the playoffs get closer and closer, but one has to like their chances against the weaker competition. No offense to Seattle, St. Louis or Arizona, but if the Niners can't easily handle these teams, they probably shouldn't be headed to the playoffs, anyway.

For more on the 49ers, head on over to Niners Nation.