Why the 49ers ‘actually matter’ for Kyle Shanahan to succeed in the No. 2 spot within the NFC playoffs
It wasn’t pretty, but the 49ers clinched their ninth straight win after defeating the Las Vegas Raiders with a 37-34 victory in overtime at Allegiant Stadium on Sunday.
With the Minnesota Vikings wildly winning and losing to the Green Bay Packers, San Francisco (12-4) now sits second in the NFC playoffs. After the game, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan explained why sticking with the No. 2 is crucial over the long run.
“I think it’s really important,” Shanahan told reporters after the game. “I mean, our first goal is to get into the playoffs. Call it the tournament; Once you get there, position yourself as best you can.
“And we don’t know until we come in but if they can tell us that now and tell the team we have the number 2 if we can take care of business then I know that fires the lads up. And I think along with you [the Philadelphia Eagles] lose it sounds like we have a chance at each other too.”
The 49ers are now one of three teams with a chance to secure the NFC No. 1 and a bye in the first round playoffs. For the 49ers to snag the No. 1 seed, they would need to beat the Arizona Cardinals next week and the Eagles would need to lose to the New York Giants.
However, if the Eagles win, the 49ers can take the No. 2 seed next week with a Vikings win or loss.
This is what the table looks like on Sunday evening:
1. Eagle (13-3)
2. 49ers (12-4)
3. Vikings (12-4)
4th Buccaneer (8-8)
5. Cowboys (12-4)
6. Giants (9-6-1)
7. Seahawks (8-8)
8. Lions (8-8)
9. Packers (8-8)
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If San Francisco stays No. 2, they’ll play No. 7 in the first round of the playoffs. Regardless of who that might be, Shanahan and the 49ers will be ready for them.
“Our playoffs started a long time ago, that’s how we look at it,” Shanahan said. “And we will continue it.”
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