It was a short-lived dream for the San Francisco 49ers, but when the Kansas City Chiefs pulled off the upset and ended the Green Bay Packers' undefeated streak, it became possible for Jim Harbaugh's team to take over the No. 1 seed in the playoffs. All they needed was the Packers to completely tank the remaining games, while winning out their own, and they'd hold the tiebreak by way of a Green Bay loss to the Detroit Lions.
But on Sunday Night Football, Green Bay not only beat the Chicago Bears to secure to No. 1 seed, they dominated. As far as Green Bay domination in 2011 goes, it was rather pedestrian, but domination nonetheless (after the first few possessions, that is). I suppose if you had, say, the entirety of the Chicago Bears rushing attack on your fantasy teams this week, you came out alright, but other than that, the Bears were effectively eliminated from the playoffs.
Still, it's significant for the 49ers. That means that, if they make it far enough, they'll have to take on the Packers at Lambeau Field. One of the TV announcers (I don't remember which) remarked that San Francisco was the one team that he felt could go to Green Bay and play well, so take that for what it's worth.
It now means the 49ers will shoot for a first-round bye via the No. 2 seed, so they'll be watching the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football as they take on the Atlanta Falcons. If the Saints win, the 49ers will need to win their Week 17 matchup against the St. Louis Rams to get the No. 2 seed, but if New Orleans loses, then the 49ers guarantee themselves a first-round bye and a divisional round home game. If the Packers happen to be eliminated in the divisional round and the 49ers get past their opponent in that scenario, then they'd be hosting a championship game, as well.