Which teams should 49ers fans root for in Week 9?

The 49ers have Week 9 off, but the rest of the NFL slate has some games that could actually improve San Francisco’s standing in the playoff race and division race by the time they return to action in Week 10.

While 49ers fans kick their feet up with no game to worry about, these are the games they should be keeping a close eye on:

Chargers at Falcons

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This is an easy one! Atlanta leads the NFC South at 4-4, but if they get pushed off the top of their division they’ll be right in the thick of one of the wild card spots San Francisco may wind up chasing.

Root for: Chargers

Dolphins at Bears

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There are two 49ers-related angles here. Most notably the Bears are 3-5 going into Week 9, and a loss would push them to where they’d need to be virtually perfect the rest of the way. They also own a head-to-head tiebreaker over San Francisco if they hang around in the playoff hunt. There’s also a ton of 49ers ties with the Dolphins, especially with Jeff Wilson Jr. now sporting the aqua and orange.

Root for: Dolphins

Packers at Lions

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Green Bay is struggling badly at 3-5 with no real answers in sight. They’ll get a chance to get right against an NFC bottom dweller. A loss could do irreparable damage to a team that figured to be near the top of the conference. A win might be enough to make them dangerous down the stretch.

Root for: Lions

Vikings at Commanders

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Minnesota sits atop the NFC North at 6-1, and there doesn’t seem to be a real challenger in the division, so they aren’t much of a threat to San Francisco’s playoff hopes. They’re facing a Washington club that’s tied with the 49ers at 4-4 and jockeying for a wild card spot in an NFC East where the three teams above them are a combined 20-4.

Root for: Vikings

Seahawks at Cardinals

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Seattle is leading the NFC West at 5-3, a full game ahead of San Francisco. The 49ers play them once more on Thursday Night Football in Week 15. Meanwhile the Cardinals are struggling at 3-5 a game back of the 49ers. A loss for them could send them into a spiral they never come out of. This one depends on the mindset of the fan. Do you want to gain on the team you’re chasing, or do you want to see a possible threat fall further into the rearview mirror?

Root for: Pick ’em

Rams at Buccaneers

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This one is sort of similar to the game above it. The Rams are an NFC West foe who could pull even with the 49ers in the division. They could be a threat to both a wild card spot and division crown. For the Bucs, they’re 3-5 and another threat to the 49ers if they wind up chasing a wild card spot. Divisional losses take precedence when it’s as tightly contested as the West is.

Root for: Buccaneers

Ravens at Saints

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New Orleans is in the NFC and firmly in the playoff hunt with a win. They’d fall to 3-6 with a loss and possibly push themselves out of the picture entirely in the next couple weeks.

Root for: Ravens

Story originally appeared on Niners Wire