(KPIX)- Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers have not only survived the toughest stretch of their schedule, they have thrived, winning two out of three against the Green Bay Packers, Baltimore Ravens and New Orleans Saints. As a result, the Niners have once again climbed to the top seed in the NFC and put themselves in prime position to earn home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
However, despite the wild win over the Saints and their 11-2 record, the 49ers have yet to lock up a playoff berth let alone the NFC West division race. That is because the Seahawks (10-3) and Rams (8-5) are still plenty alive in the playoff picture themselves. But the situation could change this Sunday depending on the outcome of the Niners game against the Atlanta Falcons.
The scenario for the 49ers to clinch a spot in the postseason is quite simple. Beat the Falcons, you’re in. But the team could also lock up a spot in the postseason with a Rams loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
As for earning the #1 seed in the NFC, that road is a little tougher. In order to do that, Shanahan’s group must win each of their final three games against the Falcons, Rams and Seahawks. While FiveThirtyEight’s prediction model gives the team an 83% win probability against the Falcons and 67% against the Rams, things are expected to be tighter in that Week 17 matchup with the Seahawks with a 54% win probability.
That said, the same model does give the team a 64% chance of both winning the division and earning a first-round bye. At the very least, it would appear that the 49ers are headed back to the postseason for the first time since 2013.
Kick off between the 49ers and Falcons is set for 1:25 p.m. Pacific Time from Levi’s Stadium.