As they watched from their homes, the 49ers had to be happy seeing the Miami Dolphins beat the Saints in New Orleans on Monday night. The loss knocked the Saints down from the No. 8 seed in the NFC to the No. 10 seed, giving the No. 6-seed 49ers a larger increase in the standing and better playoff odds overall.
The 49ers also now have a playoff-clinching scenario in Week 17.
If San Francisco beats the Houston Texans at Levi's Stadium on Sunday and the Saints lose to the Carolina Panthers, the 49ers are in. (Update: There's now also a second scenario, of course far less likely, that the 49ers can get in with a tie combined with a Vikings loss or tie plus a Saints loss plus a Falcons loss or tie.)
With the Saints losing to Miami, the 49ers also now just have to win their final two regular-season games -- against the Texans and the Los Angeles Rams -- and they're in.
Here's a look at the most up-to-date NFC playoff standings going into Week 17.
The 49ers could be handing the keys to rookie quarterback Trey Lance on Sunday after Jimmy Garoppolo missed practice with a thumb injury.
Good luck kid, it's only the playoffs on the line.