49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

December 26, 2011
Race for No. 2: Saints not making it easy on 49ers

The New Orleans Saints won't go away. Hot on the tail of the 49ers for the No. 2 seed in the NFC playoffs, the Saints beat the Falcons Monday 45-16 to improve their record to 12-3. That means the 49ers (12-3) either must win in Sunday's finale in St. Louis or hope that the Saints lose at home to the Panthers. Both games start at 10 a.m. (PST). The Saints are undefeated at home this season. The 49ers would win a tiebreaker over the Saints because of a better record against conference opponents.

The No. 2 seed will get a bye in the first round of the playoffs and then host one of two divisional round games. The No. 3 seed will host a wild-card round game against either the Lions or Falcons depending on the Week 17 results. The Lions visit Green Bay in the finale; the Falcons host the Buccaneers. The Packers, 49ers, Saints, Lions and Falcons have wrapped up spots in the NFC playoffs. The remaining spot will go to the winner of Sunday's game between the Giants and Cowboys.

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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