The San Francisco 49ers reached the playoffs as the sixth seed in the NFC. Without goodbye, the Niners are already gearing up to travel to Dallas this week to face the NFC third-seeded Cowboys. Yet despite losing the home court advantage, recent history suggests the odds may be in the 49ers’ favor on Sunday afternoon.
While the NFL adopted a new 14-team playoff format last year, the new structure had no impact on the first-round game for the sixth seed, which is still on the road. to face the division winner with the third best record in their conference. .
Here’s a quick look at how six NFC and AFC seeds have performed in the playoffs since 2010:
2010: Green Bay Packers 4-0 (Won Super Bowl)
2011: Detroit Lions 0-1 (Wild Card)
2012: Minnesota Vikings 0-1 (Wild Card)
2013: New Orleans Saints 1-1 (Divisional)
2014: Detroit Lions 0-1 (Wild Card)
2015: Seattle Seahawks 1-1 (division)
2016: Detroit Lions 0-1 (Wild Card)
2017: Atlanta Falcons 1-1 (Divisional)
2018: Philadelphia Eagles 1-1 (division)
2019: Minnesota Vikings 1-1 (Divisional)
2020: Los Angeles Rams 1-1 (Divisional)
NFC total: 10-10 (7-4 wildcard)
2010: New York Jets 2-1 (Championship game)
2011: Cincinnati Bengals 0-1 (Wild Card)
2012: Cincinnati Bengals 0-1 (Wild Card)
2013: San Diego Chargers 1-1 (divisional)
2014: Baltimore Ravens 1-1 (division)
2015: Pittsburgh Steelers 1-1 (division)
2016: Miami Dolphins 0-1 (Wild Card)
2017: Buffalo Bills 0-1 (Wild Card)
2018: Indianapolis Colts 1-1 (Divisional)
2019: Tennessee Titans 2-1 (Championship game)
2020: Cleveland Browns 1-1 (Divisional)
Total AFC: 9-11 (7-4 in Wild Card)
Total: 19-21 (14-8 in Wild Card)
In the last 11 playoffs, the sixth seed of the AFC and NFC has risen to 7-4 in the Wild Card Round, causing the “contradiction” against a division winner almost two-thirds of the time. Only one of the last 22 seeds has won the Super Bowl (the 2010 Green Bay Packers), but the majority have reached the divisional round and three have played in their respective conference championship game.
Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan said his main goal every regular season is to reach the playoff tournament. Once you do, anything can happen. The 49ers may be the second lowest seed in the NFC, but if history tells us anything, it reiterates what Shanahan has been saying all season: Anyone can win once the playoffs. started.
Obviously, the historic precedent will mean nothing on Sunday. Still, the 49ers are arguably the scariest wildcard team this year, and despite the Cowboys’ explosive offense, no one counts San Francisco.