(By: Daisy Barringer) Have I mentioned that the San Francisco 49ers are in the playoffs yet? Well, WE ARE. But it’s not as simple as that. Seattle enters the week with the No. 1 seed which means a bye. They’ll likely keep that seed and have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, BUT if the 49ers beat Arizona and Seattle loses to the Rams at home, the Niners will win the NFC West and Seattle will take our current wild card spot. And just to make it even more confusing, if we win and Seattle loses, we’d need the Panthers to beat the Falcons to earn the No. 1 spot. Don’t ask me to repeat this after a few drinks because I will not be able to.

Which is fine because, let’s be honest. None of that is going to happen. Instead, I predict the Niners beat Arizona, but that Seattle secures the No. 1 seed by beating the Rams at home. I mean, no one would love for the Seahawks to lose at home two weeks in a row more than I, but… I’m nothing if not realistic.

The interesting thing is that the 49ers really only need the win in the instance that Seattle loses. Whereas Arizona REALLY needs the win. And for the Saints to lose to the Buccaneers. In that instance, they’d get the final wild card spot. But, I mean, again, no one thinks that is going to happen. First of all, they’d have to beat us. Second of all, the 10-5 Saints would have to lose at home to the 4-11 Bucs.

Still. Sunday is going to be crazy. There are a lot of teams with a lot on the line. It’ll be a fun day to hunker down in front of the TV from 10 a.m. until well past sunset.

Let’s take a look at what to watch for as the 49ers take on the Cardinals in Arizona.

The Good

No doubt the 49ers had some issues against the Falcons on Monday night, but that win was huge and I think the 49ers are feeling good about themselves and will play that way.

Tramaine Brock. When he starts, we win. Also, my friends and I all feel really bad that he didn’t get more credit for that NaVorro Bowman pick six. Without Tramaine, that doesn’t happen. The end.

Kaepernick has posted a QB rating above 100 in four of the last five games. He’s inconsistent and I’m definitely worried that the 49ers are going to have to rely on the pass game and that’s not a situation in which I think he thrives, but… He’s getting it done when he needs to. Plus: Crabtree and Boldin and VD.

Vernon had a bad week last week, but that’s rare. Look for him to make some big plays. He had a career high 180-yards and two TDs on eight receptions when the Cards came to SF earlier in the season.

The 49ers did a much better job of managing the play clock against Atlanta. If they can keep that up and not waste time outs (in order to avoid delay of games or for bad challenges), that will be key.

The Bad

Arizona is good. They have a 10-5 record and they’ve won their last seven of eight. Also, they just beat Seattle IN Seattle. No one’s done that in two years. Hopefully that means they’re feeling a little cocky, which could bite them in the ass.

Arizona’s run defense. San Francisco is great a running the ball, but the Cardinals are good at keeping that from happening. In order to win, SF has to be able to run the ball.

Arizona has more to play for. And since the Saints/Bucs game is being played at the same time, they’ll play to win.

The Rest of It

Truthfully, the Niners want the No. 5 seed because that means we likely won’t go to Seattle until later in the playoffs. Regardless though, unless we get a miracle on Sunday, we’re going to have to win three games on the road in order to get to the Super Bowl. That’s a tough situation to be in. It can happen, but it’s tough.

Watch San Francisco at Arizona on Sunday at 1:25 p.m. PT on FOX.