Seahawks' loss opens door for 49ers

SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco 49ers must wait another day. And surely they are fine with that.

While a wild-card berth waits, there is still a chance the 49ers can win the NFC West and get a first-round bye. The 49ers need to beat Atlanta on Monday night, win the next week at Arizona and have Seattle lose its finale at home to St. Louis. At the very least, if the 49ers beat the Falcons they will clinch a wild-card berth.

If the 49ers win the division, and Carolina loses its finale to Atlanta, San Francisco would be the No. 1 seed. If not, they’d be the No 2 seed. If the 49ers win out and the Seahawks beat the Rams, the 49ers would be the No. 5 seed.

The 49ers' chance for a first-round bye became real on Sunday when the Seahawks lost at home to Arizona.

While San Francisco has big possibilities, there is also room for disaster. If the 49ers lose twice, they won't make the playoffs.

But expect Candlestick Park to be raucous Monday night because of it's the last regular-season game at Candlestick and the increased playoff hopes.