SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – John Madden likes the 49ers chances in the playoffs, but says they have to beat the Seattle Seahawks Saturday to stay in contention for that first round bye.

“Seattle is one of those teams that is sneaky good,” John told the KCBS morning crew. “I was even in that group that thought they were the worst team in the league. Then they got better and better and better and better, and now at this point they’re 7-7.”

Why the turnaround?

“If you had to put your finger on one thing, I think it’s their defense. That’s going to be the tough match-up for the 49ers – the 49ers offense against the Seattle defense,” Madden said.

John said the 49ers are set up to do well in the playoffs.

“They could be number one in defense, they could be number one in special teams,” Madden said. “When you get weather and you get into the playoffs… that cliche that defense wins championships – the 49ers are pretty good in those areas.”

The Raiders play the Chiefs Saturday a week after Kansas City’s upset win over the Green Bay Packers.

“That’s what the Raiders are going into. They’re playing Kansas City in Kansas City after they’ve had the biggest win of the year. There’ll be a little momentum carried into that one.”

John said he likes the Bronco’s chances to win that division, the AFC West.

“San Diego right now could be the strongest team but not win the division because it could be too much too late… I’m not sure San Diego can catch up with Denver.”

Denver leads the Chargers and Raiders by one game and the Chiefs by two. (7:50)

Listen to the John Madden segment live weekday mornings at 8:15 on KCBS All News 740 AM/106.9 FM.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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