The San Francisco 49ers are the only team still alive in the NFC West and they have a shot at clinching a first round bye in the coming week. The 49ers, 12-3, have long been the NFC West's best team so we're past the point of being surprised that they're in the playoffs.
The 49ers have several scenarios in which they can clinch a first round bye. First, they can simply win next weekend against the Rams. Second, they can tie plus a Saints loss or tie and they'd clinch it. Third, they can hope for one Saints loss. Any of those scenarios would clinch the first round bye for the 49ers.
The first round bye is significant because it's one less game the 49ers would have to play. If they don't clinch home field, they're in line to likely host the Lions or Falcons in the wildcard round, which are two dangerous teams.
Check out SB Nation's Niners Nation for more on the 49ers.