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NFL playoff picture: Who to root for in Week 17 if you are a San Francisco 49ers fan

Week 17 is here and the San Francisco 49ers are NFC West champs and looking to improve their playoff standing. Who should 49ers fans root for to help their chances?

Kirk Cousins #8 of the Minnesota Vikings and Jalen Hurts #1 of the Philadelphia Eagles greet one another after their game at Lincoln Financial Field on September 19, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Results update: The 49ers beat the Raiders 37-34 in overtime. It wasn’t pretty, but San Francisco climbs ahead of the Vikings for the No. 2 seed. They also still have a chance at the No. 1 seed with a win in Week 18 and an Eagles loss to the Giants.

The San Francisco 49ers have punched their ticket for the 2023 NFL Playoffs, but they head into Week 17 with a chance to improve their position. They are locked into no worse than the No. 3 seed, but they have a modest chance at the No. 2 seed and a faint chance at the No. 1 seed. They’ll be playing a home playoff game to open the playoffs, but the higher their seed, the better their chance of subsequent home games.

In Week 17, the 49ers travel to face the Las Vegas Raiders. The Raiders have an outside shot at an AFC wild card berth, but they’ve benched starting QB Derek Carr to protect against his injury guarantee in case they decide to unload him this coming offseason. The 49ers are a 9.5-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook.

If you are a 49ers fan, you’ll have two games you’ll be paying attention to as they look to improve their chances of a playoff berth.

Eagles vs. Saints

Results update: The Saints went into Philadelphia and beat the Eagles. That drops Philadelphia to 13-3 and leaves the No. 1 seed up for grabs. The 49ers still need to win out, have the Eagles lose in Week 18, and also get some help from the Vikings, but the chance remains alive.

The 49ers are two games back of the Eagles in the overall NFC standings. Philadelphia is on the verge of clinching the NFC East and the No. 1 seed in the conference. If the Eagles beat the Saints, they will clinch both. If they lose, they’ll head into Week 18 needing a win or a Cowboys loss to clinch the division. The 49ers need to win out and have the Eagles lose out to have a shot at the No. 1 seed.

Philadelphia is a 5.5-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Vikings vs. Packers

Results update: The Packers crushed the Vikings, scoring 41 unanswered points at one point to win 41-17. Minnesota drops to No. 3 in the conference, losing the conference record tiebreaker to the 49ers.

The 49ers are a game back of the Vikings and have the tiebreaker edge in conference record. If San Francisco wins and Minnesota loses, the 49ers move into second place in the NFC. Additionally, the 49ers cannot clinch the No. 1 seed without a Vikings loss either in Week 17 or Week 18.

The Vikings are a 3.5-point underdog at DraftKings Sportsbook.