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NFC West Playoff Picture: 49ers Get Optimal Sunday Results As Anarchy Reigns

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The battle to send a sub-.500 division champion to the playoffs took a huge step towards fruition as the 49ers received as much help as they could possibly expect today. The NFC West playoff picture remains as muddled as could be in the 49ers crazy, bizarre, insane, maddening, and at this point hysterical, rumblin, stumblin "run" towards the NFC West division title.

The 49ers received the optimal results for today as the Rams lost at home to the Chiefs and the Seahawks lost at home to the Falcons. Neither game was particularly close, which I have to admit surprised me a little bit. I'm not surprised by the losses as much as I am surprised by how poorly both NFC West teams played for extended stretches.

Now the 49ers find themselves still a game back and yet arguably in better position today than they were seven days ago. They still don't "control their own destiny" because the Seahawks have to lose to either the Bucs next week or the Rams the week after. However, if the 49ers beat St. Louis next week and Arizona the week after, their divisional chances are pretty solid. Seattle faces a tough Tampa Bay squad on the road next Sunday, although the Bucs are coming off a brutal OT home loss to Detroit. One has to wonder how they'll handle that defeat and whether we'll see a hangover effect next week.

And of course the 49ers visit the Rams in a must win for the 49ers, and a really need to win for the Rams. Not much needs to be said about this. We'll have plenty of coverage of this monstrous divisional showdown (said without a hint of sarcasm) throughout this holiday week.

I've been on Twitter today and had one person make the expected comments about draft pick positioning and getting stomped in the first round. Well, those are all very real possibilities, and as Maiocco pointed out today, the NFC West division winner does not in fact pick based on record, but rather moves to the back of the pack with the other playoff teams.

And yet, at this point I find myself not caring about the implications of a bizarre playoff push. I don't think stumbling into the playoffs at 7-9 would be enough to save Mike Singletary's job. If it was enough then this organization has a lot bigger concerns than just the head coach. Short of a Super Bowl run, I expect big changes this offseason in the coaching staff and maybe elsewhere in the front office.

At the same time, I am going to enjoy whatever these final two weeks bring. I'm sure there's a better than even chance that at some point next Sunday I'll be staring at a television screen shaking my head in wonder. The 49ers will either be pulling off an upset at St. Louis, or they'll figure out a new and exciting way of kicking me in the junk.

Whatever the case, I'd rather have that then be ignoring the game because the team is eliminated from playoff contention. I'm not enough of a draft junkie to be ready to look ahead to April, or even to look ahead to free agency. I want football that matters, and for one more week 49ers football matters.