NFL playoff picture: What does tie mean for 49ers standings?

Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE

We break down the NFL playoff picture and the 49ers standing following the conclusion of NFC action from Week 10. How exactly does the tie impact things?

A day after the 49ers finished in a Week 10 tie with the St. Louis Rams, the big question is how it impacts the 49ers playoff standings. We are used to simple numbers for being a game back, a game up, two games back, two games up, etc. A tie brings half games into the equation and leaves us all wondering what's up.

The good/bad news to come out of this is tiebreakers are highly unlikely to be an issue. If the 49ers and Rams end up tied they would be, but the likelihood of another NFC team getting a tie is pretty slim. It could happen, but I'm not holding my breath for it. This means head-to-head, conference record, divisional record are unlikely to be issues when the season ends. The 49ers just need to keep winning games, or I suppose after Sunday, "keep" should be changed to "start".

Sunday saw the 49ers tie and the other three division winners lose. The Falcons dropped to 8-1, the Bears to 7-2 and the Giants to 6-4. The 49ers tie allows them to gain ground on the Falcons and Bears, but obviously not as much as a win would have provided. The 49ers now sit 1/2 game back of Chicago and 1 1/2 games back of the Falcons. They are a game up on the Giants. The Giants have a bye next week, which is where the 49ers can pick up their half game.

Here are your current playoff standings heading into Week 10 Monday Night Football. MNF is an AFC affair, so these standings will stick:

1. Atlanta Falcons (8-1)
2. Chicago Bears (7-2)
3. San Francisco 49ers (6-2-1)
4. New York Giants (6-4)
5. Green Bay Packers (6-3)
6. Seattle Seahawks (6-4)

Bubble
Minnesota Vikings (6-4)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-4)
Dallas Cowboys (4-5)
New Orleans Saints (4-5)
Detroit Lions (4-5)
Arizona Cardinals (4-5)

Week 11 provides the 49ers with their biggest opportunity of the season moving forward. They host the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football in the biggest game of the week. A 49ers win moves them a half game ahead of the Bears. The Bears need the win as well now that the Packers have rebounded and are nipping on their heels. But all we care about is the 49ers winning, winning and winning some more.

The NFC West has its last bye as the Seahawks will sit in Week 11. A 49ers win not only improves their chances at getting that No. 2 seed and first round bye, but also would bump them to 1 1/2 games ahead of the Seahawks. Meanwhile, the Cardinals travel to Atlanta to face the newly defeated Falcons and the Rams host the 3-6 New York Jets.

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