NFL.com provides an if-the-season-ended-today picture of the 2013 postseason. 49ers.com outlines the team’s scenarios one by one, and they are many. San Francisco could finish anywhere from first to sixth in the six-team NFC playoff seeding.
San Francisco makes the playoffs with a win or an Arizona loss.
If the Cardinals win their Week 16 matchup with the Seattle Seahawks, the 49ers would remain alive for home field advantage and a first-round bye.
There is no scenario in which San Francisco would host a Wild Card playoff game at Candlestick Park.
San Francisco wins the division with two victories and two Seahawks losses down the stretch. If this happens, the 49ers earn a first-round bye.
If the winner of a Week 16 matchup between New Orleans and Carolina loses in Week 17 – the Saints host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Panthers visit the Atlanta Falcons – then San Francisco would earn the No. 1 seed and have home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
The 49ers are the only team that can take the top seed from the Seahawks.
WILD CARD SEEDING
If San Francisco wins both of its remaining games, and Seattle wins one of its final two, the 49ers will be the No. 5 seed.
If San Francisco loses both, but Arizona loses this week to Seattle, the 49ers will be the No. 6 seed.
If San Francisco goes 1-1 down the stretch, seeding depends on whether the loser of the Saints-Panthers game in Week 16 wins in Week 17. The 49ers would be the No. 6 seed if they finish with the same record as either team.