Why the 49ers vs. Falcons has serious implications for the playoffs


This is not a 49ers playoff game, but . . .

It’s like a playoff game for the 49ers.

The 49ers currently hold the number 6 position in the NFC playoff picture. Seven teams, including three wildcard entries, will advance to the postseason in both the NFC and AFC.

At 7-6, the 49ers’ situation is tense with four games left.

There are five teams lined up behind the 49ers with 6-7 records: Washington, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Atlanta and New Orleans. The 49ers have direct tiebreaker advantages over Minnesota and Philadelphia.

The main game on their schedule is Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons at Levi’s Stadium.

According to FiveThirtyEight, the 49ers currently have a 74 percent chance of making the playoffs.

But the outcome of their match in Week 15 will somehow drastically change their chances.

If the 49ers beat the Falcons (6-7), their chances of making the playoffs rise to 88 percent, according to the site.

But if the Falcons won, the 49ers would see their hopes plummet to a 31 percent chance.

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(And in the unlikely event of a draw, the 49ers would also benefit. Coach Kyle Shanahan’s team would have a 76 percent chance of progressing to the postseason if there is no winner after regulation time and extra time. of 10 minutes.)

With a win over the Falcons, the 49ers would have a 77 percent chance of making it to the playoffs even if they lose two of their last three games of the season to finish with a 9-8 record, according to FiveThirtyEight.

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