The San Francisco 49ers will take on the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday afternoon in the NFL as the regular season winds down to a conclusion.
This one could potentially mean a lot for the 49ers; they have yet to clinch the divisional title, thanks to the Seattle Seahawks' storming form of late, and they are still playing for a first round playoffs bye.
The game is scheduled to start at 4.25 p.m. ET and can be watched online through free live stream (details below).
The Cardinals have had a torrid season and on paper this match up should be a big win for the 49ers. However, things may not be as simple as that. The 49ers have stuttered of late, which makes it all the more important that they put on a big performance today to regain their momentum going into the playoffs.
It should not be forgotten how much of an affect it would have on the 49ers' team morale if they dropped the game today and the Seahawks pipped them to the NFC West divisional title.
That scenario would see the 49ers enter the playoffs with some very apparent and real issues, and their heads would be down.
However, oppositely a big win today to send a message out to the rest of the league as the postseason gets underway would allow their players to reassert themselves as potential Super Bowl contenders and lift morale.
A big win today could also see the 49ers clinch a first round playoff bye, which should not be understated. A rest week for any team as the playoffs get started is a big advantage, and the 49ers will know that is one of the major goals from today's game.
A month back the 49ers were 8-2-1, however, some sudden inconsistent form has seen that slip to 10-4-1 coming into this final Week 17 match up. They have lost against St Louis 13-16, and then were completely taken apart by the Seahawks last week 13-42 - that result will have been the most worrisome.
To be destroyed so completely by one of your major divisional and postseason rivals just a few weeks prior to the postseason getting underway is not the perfect preparation.
However, it has not been all bad for San Francisco recently, and people should remember how they took down the New England Patriots 41-34 just a few weeks back. So which 49ers' team will show up today?
From here on out the 49ers cannot afford for the team that fell to St Louis and Seattle to show up. They will want more of the team that confidently exposed one of the postseason favorites - the Patriots.
The 49ers vs Cardinals will start at 4.25 p.m. ET and can be watched online through free live stream by clicking here.