5 Teams the San Francisco 49ers Should Hope to Avoid in the Playoffs

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5 Teams the San Francisco 49ers Should Hope to Avoid in the Playoffs
Dustin Bradford/Getty Images
It's Super Bowl or bust for one Peyton Manning.

Admit it—even the rough-and-tough, blue-collar San Francisco 49ers can hope to avoid certain teams in the playoffs.

Can they—yes. Should they?

Well, that’s an affirmative too.

Despite their fundamental gridiron toughness and Super Bowl pedigree, the Jim Harbaugh-led 49ers do not necessarily inspire the same intimidation they once did.

The Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints took on the Red and Gold onslaught this year and survived.

The Seattle Seahawks, meanwhile, have no qualms about their beliefs of invincibility at home against their division rival (not to mention everyone else).

Sure, a dropped Vance McDonald pass and controversial roughing the passer call doomed San Francisco unnecessarily against those former two foes. And even the 11-2 Seahawks cannot deny their historically proven vulnerability away from CenturyLink Field when playing the 49ers.

But a win’s a win, and these opponents have all done so against the 49ers.

Additionally, a few playoff teams from the AFC would welcome a head-to-head matchup with San Francisco. They want to square off with the former bully who emerged as NFC champion in 2012.

The final three-game stretch of the regular season will decide whether any of those adversaries will get their shot.

Two questions remain.

Will San Francisco really want to get adversarial with any foe that comes its way? Should they have a preference even with their reinforced roster?

Please allow us to declare what they undoubtedly never would.

Here are five teams that the 49ers should hope to avoid in their 2013 postseason run.


Note: The final selections represent the two most unwelcome Super Bowl matchups.

Note: All advanced statistics are courtesy of Pro Football Focus (subscription required).

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