Sunday: 3:35 p.m. at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. (Ch. 11, 100.3-FM)


• San Francisco (13-3) earned the NFC’s No. 1 seed and a first-round bye with a 26-21 win in Seattle in the season finale. With 14 days between games, the 49ers could return RT Mike Person, S Jaquiski Tartt and DE Dee Ford from injuries.

• Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is buoyed by the NFL’s No. 2 running game, a three-headed attack in Matt Breida, Tevin Coleman and Raheem Mostert. They combined for 1,939 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns.

• WR Emmanuel Sanders, traded from Denver to San Francisco before Week 8, has given the 49ers offense another downfield threat opposite promising rookie Deebo Samuel. Sanders has 36 catches for 502 yards and three touchdowns in 10 games for San Francisco.

• San Francisco’s defensive line features four stellar pass rushers in Arik Armstead (10 sacks), Nick Bosa (9 sacks), DeForest Buckner (7.5 sacks) and Ford (6.5 sacks).


• No NFL tight end had more than Kittle’s 16 explosive gains of 20 yards or more this season, as the third-year bruiser continues to romp through secondaries. He leads San Francisco’s offense with 85 catches for 1,053 yards.

• Kittle, a premier receiver and run blocker, thrives from play designs that help him get open and on the run. Once he’s moving, he’s difficult to bring down; his 622 yards after the catch leads all NFL receivers and tight ends.

• 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan:  “It’s always important to have a good tight end, and I’ve had a few. George is as good as any of them. The difference that makes him so much fun is you can’t decide where you like him more — the pass game or the run game.”

• Vikings safety Anthony Harris:  “They find a lot of different ways to get him the ball. He’s very talented, so they try to be creative with how they do that. It’ll be a challenge.”

COACH SPEAK | Kyle Shanahan

• Shanahan, 40, is in his third season as 49ers head coach with a 23-25 record ahead of his first playoff appearance in San Francisco. The 49ers offense ranked second in points this season.

• Shanahan coaches a similar style offense as the Vikings, having gotten his NFL start under Gary Kubiak in Houston. From 2012-2013, Shanahan also coached Vikings QB Kirk Cousins in Washington.

• On defensive similarities between the 49ers and Vikings: “When you can stop a run game with the front seven, not needing your safeties, or you can stop the pass game with your front four, that makes you not have to be as risky in what you call.”

• On what he’s seen from Cousins this season: “They use him a little differently. They don’t throw the ball as much, which has probably made them tougher to beat and a better team.”

Andrew Krammer