But there's a new benefit to securing that top seed that's emerging and is going to make San Francisco feel real sorry they came up a game short (provided they can feel anything at all...)
By winning that final game against the Rams, Seattle locked up the No. 1 seed, while San Francisco fell to the No. 5 seed -- a fate that awaited the Seahawks had they lost the Rams game. Meanwhile, Green Bay Packers' quarterback Aaron Rodgers led an amazing last-minute comeback to defeat the Chicago Bears for the NFC North title and the No. 4 seed.
That means while Seattle gets to sit at home this weekend, San Francisco has to travel to Green Bay for their Wild Card game match-up Sunday afternoon.
Now, traveling to Green Bay in January is always likely to be a chilly proposition, but with a massive and near-record arctic outbreak in the forecast, it's set to be a brutally cold game, even by Green Bay standards.
One forecast model is forecasting game time temperatures at Lambeau Field Sunday afternoon and evening of -10 to -13F -- with a 16 mph (14 knot) wind on top of that. Put the two together and that's a wind chill of -37 degrees.
Those temperatures would rival the infamous Ice Bowl in Green Bay in Dec. 1967.
The forecasters at the National Weather Service office in Green Bay are going a little bit warmer with their forecasts, starting with a game time temperature around zero and dropping to -5 by the end with wind chills in the -17 to -24 degree range.
Either way, good luck with that, San Francisco, and Seahawks fans and players can be happy that it's not us making that trip!
By the way, early forecasts for the Seahawks game on Jan. 11 have it around 40 degrees -- a 77 degree warm-up from Green Bay's expected wind chill temp.
Also in case you're curious: The forecasted temperature for Chicago is around 0 degrees for that time so had it been the Bears hosting the game, the 49ers wouldn't have been a whole lot better off. New Orleans is also heading to a chilly game in Philadelphia, but temperatures are expected to be in the mid-upper 20s.
Special thanks to Univ. of Washington research meteorologist Mark Albright for sending me the forecast data for Green Bay