NFL playoff picture 2013: 49ers division hopes still flickering

Otto Greule Jr

The 49ers still have their Week 16 game to play, but the NFL playoff picture continues to get jumbled around. It was a wild Sunday!

The Arizona Cardinals pulled off a huge road upset over the Seattle Seahawks, and it leaves the San Francisco 49ers with a slight glimmer of hope in the NFC West race. If the 49ers win on Monday Night Football, they will move to one game back of the Seahawks, with one game to go. The 49ers would have clinched with a Cardinals loss, but they can still clinch a playoff berth with a win.

Carson Palmer and the Cardinals seemed content to give this one away, as Palmer threw four interceptions. However, the Seahawks offense could get nothing going. Seattle took a 10-9 lead at one point, but Palmer made enough plays to get his team the lead and the win. It was an ugly game, but it was still rather riveting.

If the 49ers can win tomorrow, they'll be a game back of the Seahawks. Week 17 will feature 49ers @ Cardinals and Rams @ Seahawks. I don't expect the Seahawks to drop back-to-back home games, but crazier things have happened. If the Seahawks lose that game and the 49ers win their season finale (as long as they win tomorrow), the 49ers would claim the division based on having a better divisional record.

It is also worth noting that if that all happened, and the Carolina Panthers then lost on the road to the Atlanta Falcons, the 49ers could actually claim the No. 1 seed in the NFC. All of this requires a lot of work, but the possibility remains alive. The 49ers need to remain focused on the task at hand on Monday, but there is still a lot on the line. Furthermore, the 49ers need a win over the Falcons to take a one-game lead on the New Orleans Saints in the battle for the fifth and sixth seed.

All in all, it was a crazy Sunday. Maybe we can get a little more craziness next week!

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