Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers Clinch Home-Field Advantage Throughout NFC Playoffs

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 30, 2019

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo warms-up before an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)
Stephen Brashear/Associated Press

The San Francisco 49ers clinched the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs Sunday with a 26-21 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.


The @49ers are the No. 1 seed! The NFC goes through San Francisco. #GoNiners https://t.co/Hn1615aalX

The NFC playoff race was a muddled logjam for the entire second half of the 2019 season. Five teams were within a single game of the top spot heading into Week 16—the Seahawks, Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints, 49ers and Minnesota Vikings.

It helped create extra drama in a postseason race that saw a majority of the berths clinched early.

The wealth of teams with double-digit wins should also create some tremendous playoff games in the coming weeks, and there's no doubt whichever squad survives the NFC gauntlet will have earned its trip to Super Bowl LIV to face the AFC champion at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.

The 49ers have moved themselves among the NFL's title contenders by bucking the trend of teams becoming heavily reliant on the passing game. They've featured a remarkably balanced attack with three different running backs reaching 500 rushing yards to help take pressure off quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

What they've also created is a team that can travel well. The Niners own a 6-2 record at home and a 7-1 mark on the road, but home field is still a boost to their title hopes.

Now the question is whether the 49ers, with a dominant defense but a run-of-the-mill passing game, have enough firepower to make a championship run.