Before Sunday night's dismantling at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks, the San Francisco 49ers had the NFC's second best record and were in control of their bye week destiny. As of right now, Jim Harbaugh's 49ers are holding onto the NFC's third best record. If the playoffs started today, the 49ers would host a wildcard game against the Minnesota Vikings, a team that handed the 49ers their first loss of the season. Sunday's loss gave control of the bye week to the Green Bay Packers.

As you will see below, the 49ers can still get a playoff bye week. However, things can go badly and they can also be a wildcard team and play a game on the road.

Best case scenario for week 17

The 49ers can still secure a bye week and the second seed in the NFC with a little help during week 17. Get ready to cheer on Adrian Peterson and his Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. In addition to a 49ers win against the Arizona Cardinals, which is no longer a guarantee considering how they played against the Seahawks, the Vikings would have to beat the Green Bay Packers in Minnesota. This would jump San Francisco past Green Bay and then the 49ers would await the strongest victor from the wildcard round.

Another scenario for week 17

If the 49ers beat the Cardinals and the Vikings were to lose to the Packers, San Francisco would still win the NFC West, no matter what the Seahawks do during week 17. They would then host a wildcard game in San Francisco. A win there would then send them on another trip to Green Bay (the 49ers won the week 1 matchup) for the divisional playoffs. This would be a tough playoff road.

Worst case scenario for week 17

Colin Kaepernick is winless against the NFC West. A week 17 loss to the Arizona Cardinals and a Seahawks win against the St. Louis Rams in Seattle would give the Seahawks the NFC West crown. The 49ers would then have a much tougher playoff road. The 49ers would then play a wildcard game on the road. A win, depending on the result of the other wildcard game, would send them to either Atlanta or Green Bay for the divisional playoffs.

Summary

San Francisco clinches NFC West division with: 1) 49ers win or tie OR 2) Seahawks loss or tie

San Francisco clinches a first-round bye with: 1) 49ers win + Packers loss or tie OR 2) 49ers tie + Packers loss


Since the 49ers play at the same time as the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, the first priority is to win their game against the Arizona Cardinals and win the NFC West, at minimum securing a home wildcard game. We'll have to let the playoff picture in Minnesota work itself out.