Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports


Playoff Picture: Where the 49ers stand entering Week 12 showdown with the Vikings

Nov 27, 2021 at 11:46 AM--


The San Francisco 49ers are entering a pivotal clash with the Minnesota Vikings this weekend. A lot is on the line for both teams, who each enter Week 12 with playoff aspirations.

On Thanksgiving, the New Orleans Saints fell out of the seventh and final playoff spot after a 31-6 loss to the Buffalo Bills. The 49ers, at 5-5, took their place. That means, if the season ended today, the Vikings and 49ers would own the final two playoff spots. A loss for either team might hurt their efforts to continue playing past Week 18.

"Sunday's home game against the Vikings could be a crucial pivot point that dramatically shifts the 49ers' playoff odds, which sat at 33 percent entering this week -- eighth-highest in the NFC, just behind the Vikings," wrote NFL Network analyst Cynthia Frelund this week. "My simulations have San Francisco besting Minnesota 53 percent of the time."

Below is a breakdown of the current playoff picture in the NFC, with the first four teams being the division leaders.

  • Arizona Cardinals, 9-2
  • Green Bay Packers, 8-3
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 7-3
  • Dallas Cowboys, 7-4
  • Los Angeles Rams, 7-3
  • Minnesota Vikings, 5-5
  • San Francisco 49ers, 5-5

Below are the top three teams in the hunt to steal away the final Wild Card spots.

  • Philadelphia Eagles, 5-6
  • Carolina Panthers, 5-6
  • New Orleans Saints, 5-6

San Francisco is playing much better football than what was on display earlier in the season. The surging team has won three of its past four and is a 3.5-point favorite over the visiting Vikings this weekend.

"No one can say with certainty whether the 49ers are truly a playoff team, but sometimes these matters get decided in the postseason," wrote ESPN's Kevin Seifert. "Their remaining strength of schedule ranks No. 25 in the league. One caveat to keep in mind is that the Eagles, another NFC wild-card competitor, have the NFL's easiest remaining schedule."

The 49ers and Vikings kick off from Levi's Stadium on Sunday at 1:25 p.m. PT.



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