With their last-minute victory over Atlanta, San Francisco has set themselves up for Week 17’s matchup in Arizona in an enviable position. Having already clinched a playoff berth, the 49ers are one win away from clinching at least the top wild-card slot and still have a chance to earn the division title and the bye week that comes with it, should Seattle slip up.
On the other hand, a loss in the desert could see the 49ers falling to the sixth and final seed, knowing they would have to win three games on the road to get back to the Super Bowl.
The Arizona Cardinals, of course, are in desperation mode, needing a win and help to avoid being this year’s Chicago Bears—an unfortunate team with double-digit wins that still ends up missing the playoffs. They’ll be pulling out all the stops to try to pull the mild upset.
Here are five key matchups to watch as the 49ers close out their regular season.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Focus (subscription required), unless otherwise specified.