The San Francisco 49ers are almost certainly getting into the NFC playoffs after beating the Atlanta Falcons badly on Sunday afternoon.
It was a massive game between the San Francisco 49ers and the visiting Atlanta Falcons, but one where the home team came out on top.
Though this game was between a 7-6 team and a 6-7 team, the winner would have been in the driver’s seat to get into the NFC playoffs, almost certainly as a Wild Card team. Blessed with a dominating victory over the Dirty Birds, the Niners are 8-6 with a chance to clinch a postseason berth in Week 16 if they beat the Tennessee Titans on Thursday Night Football to get to 9-6.
While a ninth win gets them one step closer, is it mathematically possible for the 49ers to clinch a postseason berth with a road victory in Nashville over the Titans in primetime?
San Francisco 49ers: Can they clinch playoff berth with Tennessee Titans win?
Here are the six games to be played between Sunday Night Football in Week 15 and Thursday Night Football in Week 16.
New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Sunday, Dec. 19, 8:20 p.m. ETLas Vegas Raiders at Cleveland Browns: Monday, Dec. 20, 5:00 p.m. ETMinnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears: Monday, Dec. 20, 8:15 p.m. ETWashington Football Team at Philadelphia Eagles: Tuesday, Dec. 21, 7:00 p.m. ETSeattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams: Tuesday, Dec. 21, 7:00 p.m. ETSan Francisco 49ers at Tennessee Titans: Thursday, Dec. 23, 8:20 p.m. ET
With the help of this awesome playoff chances prediction simulator from The New York Times, you are more than welcome to mess around and see what the 49ers’ chances of getting in are. However, there is no combination with any of these six games that guarantee the 49ers a playoff berth with a win over the Titans on Thursday Night Football, although it gets painfully close to it.
There are a few combinations of the five games out of the 49ers’ control where they can get to better than a 99 percent chance of making the playoffs. The most interesting is the home teams all winning to finish Week 15 (Buccaneers, Browns, Bears, Eagles, Rams). However, two of those home teams are under the gun when it comes to COVID protocols in Cleveland and Los Angeles.
The Atlanta win got the 49ers from having a 73 percent chance of getting in to an 87 percent one.
Ultimately, the 49ers will need a few more things to happen during the bulk of the Week 16 slate to clinch their second playoff berth in three seasons.