It’s December and even Jim Harbaugh, who never looks ahead, has agreed that it’s okay for his team to discuss the "P" word. As in playoffs.
At 9-2 and with a five-game lead over the Seattle Seahawks, the 49ers are but a win away from advancing to the NFC playoffs for the first time since 2002. They play the Rams this Sunday and again at the end of December, with games against the Cardinals and Seahawks slated amidst a compelling Dec. 19 game at home against the Steelers.
It is sort of a luxury for a team to step back and assess the rest of the league and plan accordingly for what should be coming in January. So here is a rundown of the 49ers' chances against potential playoff opponents, starting with the easiest and progressing to the most difficult.