Sunday, January 1, 2012
49ers' divisional game set for Jan. 14
By Mike Sando
The San Francisco 49ers know they'll play the New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons, Dallas Cowboys or New York Giants in the NFC divisional round at Candlestick Park.
They also know their first playoff game in nearly a decade will kick off at 4:30 p.m. ET on Fox, followed at 8 p.m. ET by an AFC divisional game featuring New England against Denver, Pittsburgh or Cincinnati.
Barring a comeback from a 21-7 deficit Sunday night, the Cowboys will miss the playoffs. That means the 49ers, seeded second in the NFC and therefore excused from the wild-card round, can most likely focus on the Saints, Falcons and Giants.
New Orleans will be a favorite at home in the wild-card round against Detroit. If the Saints beat the Lions, they'll visit San Francisco in the divisional round. If the Saints lose, San Francisco would play the winner between Atlanta and the NFC East champion.
I'll be visiting the 49ers in the days leading up to their game, then covering the game from Candlestick. If the 49ers win, they will play the NFC championship game at Green Bay or San Francisco on Jan. 22 at 6:30 p.m. ET, also on Fox.