Now that the 49ers are in the postseason, their scenarios simplify dramatically for who they will face.
Since they’re the No. 1 seed with a first-round bye, they’ll have to wait to see who their opponent in the divisional round will be, but it’s a pretty straightforward set of circumstances. They’ll face the lowest-remaining seed.
The first NFC playoff game is Sunday when the sixth-seeded Vikings travel to New Orleans to face the third-seeded Saints.
If the Vikings win, they have a divisional-round date with the 49ers at Levi’s Stadium.
If the Saints win, the 49ers’ attention will turn to the Sunday afternoon game between the No. 4-seed Eagles and No. 5-seed Seahawks in Philadelphia. The winner of that game would become the 49ers’ divisional-round opponent, with New Orleans traveling to No. 2-seed Green Bay.
There’s an argument to be made that any of the three matchups would be favorable for the 49ers. Getting a third crack at the Seahawks at home after they’ve traveled across the country would likely favor San Francisco. Minnesota has been up-and-down all season, and Kirk Cousins hasn’t typically performed well on big stages. And Philadelphia has been hit with so many injuries that it’s hard to see them getting past the 49ers if they happen to make it past the Seahawks.
Either way, the 49ers don’t play on wild-card weekend, but their preparation . will officially start by the time game action concludes Sunday.