Hitners Hot Take

49ers to be top seed in NFC playoff picture, Whitner believes

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The 49ers made a statement to the NFL with their 42-19 thrashing of the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.

Besides backing up trash talk and moving to 9-3 on the 2023 NFL season, San Francisco put itself in a great position to finish the year as one of the NFC’s highest seeds.

On the latest edition of “Hitner’s Hot Take,” NBC Sports Bay Area’s Donte Whitner described his interpretation of the 49ers’ win over the Eagles, explaining how it was monumental for San Francisco’s Vince Lombardi Trophy aspirations. 

“After the 49ers’ big win over the Philadelphia Eagles, I am certain that the 49ers will be the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoff picture,” exclaimed Whitner. “Every season, the objective is to make the playoffs by any means. If you can get the No. 1 seed, it gives you the easiest path to the Super Bowl.”

Whitner believes San Francisco’s Week 13 victory over the NFC No. 1 seed and newly 10-2 Philadelphia proves the 49ers will finish their season atop the NFC, shaping up for a desirable path to the Super Bowl in Las Vegas.

Currently second in the NFC, the 49ers have the 23rd-hardest schedule remaining, with opponents averaging a .452 win percentage. Meanwhile, the Eagles have the 28th-hardest schedule left, with their opponents averaging a .426 win percentage.

If Whitner’s take about San Francisco’s regular-season fate is accurate, the 49ers will have great odds of becoming the last team standing in February. 

“Capturing the number-one seed for the 49ers [would give] them the Divisional Round at Levi’s Stadium,” Whitner said. “It gives them the NFC Championship at Levi’s Stadium. And it gives them a tremendous home-field advantage over the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles.

“For the 49ers, capturing that number-one seed is a tremendous advantage. It gives you an entire week off. An extra week of preparation for your upcoming opponent. It allows you to get healthy in major areas. And if you play your cards right, this almost guarantees [San Francisco] a spot in this year’s Super Bowl.”

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