49ers Eye Playoff Path: Potential Foes Ranked

49ers Eye Playoff Path: Potential Foes Ranked

With two weeks left in the regular season and three playoff spots up for grabs in the NFC, it’s time to take a look at the 49ers’ potential playoff opponents. If the 49ers win, they will have up to a week in the NFC. The Eagles, Cowboys and Lions all clinched the NFC South and two wild card spots in the playoffs. Things could change over the next couple of weeks, but let’s say the playoffs start tomorrow and rank the teams the 49ers would least like to face, from easiest to hardest.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

While there is no doubt that Baker Mayfield is having a career renaissance, the 49ers can certainly handle this team in the divisional round if they advance. The Bucs defense is allowing 356.2 yards per game and has allowed 32 touchdowns on the season. The only NFC playoff team with more yards than the Bucs is…

Seattle Seahawks

You’ve got to hand it to Pete Carroll. His team is looking for ways to win games, and with two more wins, they will secure their second straight playoff berth with Geno Smith as the starter. The race turned in favor of the 49ers with five straight wins, and it would be the second year in a row to make the playoffs if the 49ers beat Seattle three times. The 49ers are the better team, but I’d rather face Tampa Bay.

Philadelphia Eagles

You might think the Eagles are too low on this list. Personally, I have a hard time seeing them getting back to the NFC Championship game on offense and defense. The addition of Matt Patricia to the defense is a sure sign of panic in the building, the offense isn’t as consistent as it was a year ago, and there’s something delicate about this team heading into the playoffs. If Philadelphia meets Detroit, I don’t think that will happen. Speaking of…

Detroit Lions

Yes, I understand that Jared Goff is the Lions quarterback and can be bullied, but the Lions have one of the best offensive lines and a lot of firepower on offense. Ben Johnson has done an incredible job with this offense, with Sam LaPorta and Jahmyr Gibbs adding to this offensive attack as the first rookies to have nine-plus touchdowns as a rookie. The Lions’ defense is beatable and should travel outside of their dome, but they have an offense that can go blow-by-blow and keep them in games.

 

Dallas Cowboys

The 49ers embarrassed Dallas in SNF earlier this year. Dallas did what they usually do every season. They have beaten inferior opponents and made media analysts wonder if this is their year. But as usual, Dallas will have a tough time with Miami and Buffalo losing to winning teams. So why is Dallas here? The 49ers would need to beat the Cowboys for the fourth time in a row. There’s no doubt the 49ers are on Dallas’ mind right now, and they always have a chance to turn the lights out. But Dallas has playmakers on the defensive line, and beating any team four straight isn’t easy.

Los Angeles Rams

Wait now. Just listen to me. As a division opponent, these matchups can get weird. Second, the Rams have a team trajectory that figures things out at the right time. Kyren Williams is getting the Rams offense back, Puka Nacua was an absolute gem in the draft, Cooper Kupp is back and looking as healthy as ever, and Matthew Stafford is playing the best football of his career. The 49ers haven’t lost to the Rams in a long time in the regular season. If the Rams find themselves in a game against the 49ers, it could result in an impressive upset of the opposition. Be with a team that gets hot at the right time. Strange things have happened.

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