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NFL Playoff Positioning: 49ers Look To Move Closer To First Round Bye

The San Francisco 49ers are off until Monday when they face the Steelers, but they can still move closer to a possible first round bye on Sunday. The 49ers are tied with the New Orleans Saints at 10-3 and if the 49ers win their final three games they secure the bye courtesy of the conference record tiebreaker. However, given how close they are in the standings, the 49ers will be rooting for optimal results on Sunday.

The Saints will head on the road to face the Minnesota Vikings in a game in which the Saints are favored by nine points. While the Saints offense would appear to benefit from playing inside the Metrodome, they showed in losing the St. Louis Rams that anything is possible. They should roll through Minnesota, but the NFL has featured some crazy results this season.

Other than that, the 49ers are simply waiting to see what the postseason will bring them. If they drop out of the number two spot, they are likely going to finish no worse than the three seed. At this point that means a return engagement with the Detroit Lions, but the wildcard is far from cleared up. The Lions finish the season at Oakland, home against San Diego and at Green Bay. That is a tough stretch to wrap things up and could very well cost them a playoff spot.