The San Francisco 49ers eliminated the Los Angeles Rams from playoff contention, but they have a Week 17 date with the Seattle Seahawks for the NFC West.
The last four games for the San Francisco 49ers have been decided by one score or less. While they came out on the losing of their games with the Baltimore Ravens and the Atlanta Falcons, the 49ers came out on top against the New Orleans Saints two weeks ago and on Saturday night vs. the Los Angeles Rams.
This last-second field goal by Robbie Gould, set up by a busted coverage in the Rams secondary, eliminated Los Angeles from playoff contention. There will be a new winner of the NFC West for the first time since 2016. Thus, there will be a new team representing the conference in Super Bowl LIV down in Miami.
What lies ahead for the 49ers is one last road date vs. the Seattle Seahawks to decide who wins the division. It will likely end up deciding who gets home-field advantage in the NFC and who has to play on the road vs. the NFC East winner on Wild Card Weekend. Do the 49ers have what it takes to avenge their loss from earlier in the season to the division-rival Seahawks at home?
Seattle plays on Sunday vs. the already-out-of-it Arizona Cardinals. Even if Seattle drops its Week 16 game to the Cardinals, the Seahawks’ home date with the 49ers will be for all the marbles in the NFC West. This clash in the Pacific Northwest could very well decide who represents the NFC in Super Bowl LIV.
Neither team is perfect, far from it, in fact. But one could argue the winner of this likely primetime game between the 49ers and the Seahawks next Sunday stands as the greatest regular-season test in the NFC before the postseason. San Francisco will look to prove it can beat teams playing well in consecutive weeks, while Seattle will want to prove its team is more good than lucky.
Of course, there are still two other teams that can end up with home-field advantage in the NFC this year: The Saints and the Green Bay Packers. All four teams can finish with 13-3 regular-season records. It just depends on how the final two week’s worth of games shakes out. San Francisco did its part on Saturday vs. the Rams to ensure its Week 17 game will be for the division.