Cardinals vs. 49ers, Week 17: San Francisco fans thrilled over bye

USA TODAY Sports

While winning the NFC West was satisfying for San Francisco 49ers fans, earning a bye and the No. 2 seed was the most significant accomplishment.

The San Francisco 49ers regained the No. 2 seed with a win over the Arizona Cardinals, coupled with a loss by the Green Bay Packers on Sunday afternoon. The developments give the 49ers a bye in the first round of the playoffs, which is significant for Justin Smith's recovery.

The lineman, arguably the key cog in the 49ers' stout defensive unit, sat out the past two games with a partially torn triceps muscle. Smith, along with the team in general, can use the bye to return to full strength.

The bye could also possibly serve as a week for San Francisco to figure out its kicking situation. Fans were frustrated with David Akers' performance on Sunday when the kicker failed to convert on two field goal attempts fewer than 50 yards. Akers has missed at least one field goal in each of the 49ers' final eight games of the season.

Regardless, the bye week will be welcomed, according to Niners Nation:

For now, though, we get to take a moment to relax and enjoy a hard fought division title and bye. The 49ers have a lot of work to do if they want to make any sort of noise in the playoffs. Fortunately, they have time to assess things and make some adjustments.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.