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2. San Francisco (8-2-1)

Remaining opponents winning percentage: .500 (27-27-1)

Potential flies in the ointment: A Week 15 loss at New England would damage San Francisco’s hopes for the No. 1 playoff seed. But a non-conference defeat doesn’t carry as much weight in tiebreaker scenarios as would tripping the following Sunday in Seattle.

Outlook: So far, the glass slipper hasn’t broken for second-year quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Presuming he continues to start in place of Alex Smith, Kaepernick will face the most difficult challenge of his NFL career against a Patriots defense that has traditionally stymied young passers. The 49ers are the first team this season to give me a true Super Bowl feel in every way except under center. That also makes playing to a 24-24 tie at home against an inferior Rams squad in Week 10 so maddening. The Falcons can guarantee home-field advantage by winning three of their final five no matter how San Francisco fares. - Alex Marvez (AP Photo/Bill Feig)

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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