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NFL playoff picture: 49ers look to solidify NFC West lead

We break down the current NFC playoff picture as the 49ers prepare for the Rams in Week 10.


The 49ers are officially through their bye week and we get to enjoy some Sunday 49ers football once again. This is a big game for the 49ers as they look to improve to 3-0 in the division and maintain their lead over the second place Seahawks. The 49ers can continue to take control of their own fate, but the weekend also features a host of big game that could impact the NFC playoff picture. Here is how the NFC playoff picture currently stands:

1. Atlanta Falcons: 8-0
2. Chicago Bears: 7-1
3. San Francisco 49ers: 6-2
4. New York Giants: 6-3
5. Green Bay Packers: 6-3
6. Seattle Seahawks: 5-4

The Giants loss to the Steelers dropped them from No. 3 to No. 4, and a half game back of the 49ers. If the playoffs started today, the 49ers would host the Seattle Seahawks in a fun little playoff matchup.

Here is the NFC schedule for Week 10:

Giants (6-3) @ Bengals
Lions (4-4) @ Vikings (5-4)
Falcons (8-0) @ Saints (3-5)
Chargers @ Buccaneers (4-4)
Jets @ Seahawks (5-4)
Cowboys (3-5) @ Eagles (3-5)
Texans @ Bears (7-1)

We all know what the big game is in Week 10 (after the 49ers, that is). The Chicago Bears face their toughest test of the season as they host the 7-1 Houston Texans on Sunday Night Football. The 49ers get the Bears next week, so they'll get a chance to get the edge over Chicago. Nonetheless, I am perfectly content seeing the Bears drop a game heading into Week 11. The Bears are a very solid team, thanks primarily to a dominant defense carrying the way at times. Sounds familiar!

Beyond that, the rooting guide is fairly simple. We want the Saints to knock off the Falcons and help the 49ers get a game closer to the top seed, assuming they handle their business, of course. The more home field the better! Other than that, I think we are all content rooting for the Bengals to beat the Giants. I would lean towards rooting on Minnesota over Detroit. The Vikings did beat the 49ers, but I think if they were to meet again in the playoffs, I would be a lot more comfortable this time around. And I do enjoy seeing the Lions lose.

Since the Bucs can't really impact the 49ers playoff chances quite yet, I am fine rooting for them to beat the Chargers. The Bucs are impressing me and I think they still could climb back into the playoff chase. They are currently in the mix with the Vikings, Lions and Cardinals in the hunt for a wildcard spot.

As much as it will pain us, we are all Jets fans this week. I consider it more fans of the Seahawks losing rather than the Jets winning. The 49ers can win this division without a Seahawks loss today, but I am content seeing the 49ers roll this thing up sooner rather than later.

Now the 49ers just need to handle their own business!