The San Francisco 49ers control the No. 2 seed in the NFC playoff picture. Holding onto that spot would guarantee head coach Kyle Shanahan’s squad two home playoff games, assuming they win their first matchup in the Wildcard round. If the season ended today, that would mean round three against the Seattle Seahawks, the division foe the 49ers swept during the regular season but put up a fight in Week 15.

“Our first goal is to get into the playoffs,” Shanahan told reporters after the 37-34 overtime win over the Las Vegas Raiders. “… Once you get there, you always have a chance for your ultimate goal. And everything about once you do get there is positioning yourself the best way you can.”

After the game, Shanahan told his players that they moved up to the No. 2 seed thanks to the win and a Minnesota Vikings loss to the Green Bay Packers.

The Philadelphia Eagles lost their second consecutive game. Another loss in Week 18, paired with another 49ers win, would give San Francisco the No. 1 seed.

“I know that fires the guys up, and I think with Philly losing, I think we’ve got a chance at the other one too,” Shanahan added. “Our playoffs started a long time ago. That’s the way we look at it, and we’re going to keep it going.”

While battling against the Raiders, 49ers players knew that grabbing hold of the No. 2 seed was possible. However, they also knew that it would not happen if they did not take care of business at Allegiant Stadium in what became a closer-than-expected bout with the Raiders.

“We were just trying to focus on everything we could do to execute and come out with a win,” running back Christian McCaffrey said.

If the 49ers can win next weekend, regardless of what happens with the Eagles, it makes their path to the Super Bowl a bit easier. A victory would clinch at least the No. 2 seeds. That’s significantly better than the No. 3 seed, which might mean heading on the road in the Divisional round.

The New Year’s Day performance might have been a wake-up call for a defense that has been dominant over the previous nine weeks. The Raiders racked up 500 total yards of offense, the most surrendered by the 49ers defense since October 23.

“We found out after the game (about the No. 2 seed), and obviously that’s huge for our team,” linebacker Fred Warner told reporters. “All that aside, we’ve got to make sure we’re playing better on our side of the ball, defensively. The offense had a heck of a game. Even special teams have been playing really well.

“We’ve got to make sure we’re playing at our best, come playoffs, regardless of our seeding.”