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NFL playoff picture 2015: 49ers avoid elimination!

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The San Francisco 49ers would have been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention with a Week 13 loss. Might as well look at the playoff picture.

The San Francisco 49ers pulled off the upset road win in Week 13, beating the Chicago Bears 26-20 on a big overtime touchdown. In netting their first road win, the 49ers managed to avoid being one of the first teams mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. Sure, we know the 49ers won't be going to the postseason, but it is kind of amusing to fight it off for one more week. The Cleveland Browns are the first team eliminated, and it is sort of fitting the 49ers and Browns square off next week.

The playoff picture has some clarity in some respects, but there are a lot of playoff spots up for grabs as we head into the final four weeks of the season. Aside from joking about the 49ers playoff hopes still alive, I thought I'd take a look at the playoff picture. Here's how the NFC playoff picture currently looks

1. Carolina Panthers (12-0)
2. Arizona Cardinals (10-2)
3. Green Bay Packers (8-4)
4. Washington (5-6)

5. Minnesota Vikings (8-4)
6. Seattle Seahawks (7-5)

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-6)
8. Atlanta Falcons (6-6)
9. Philadelphia Eagles (5-7)
10. New York Giants (5-7)
11. Chicago Bears (5-7)
15. San Francisco 49ers (4-8)

Washington hosts Dallas on Monday Night Football, but even with a loss, Washington would remain in first place in the NFC East. Carolina was the first team to secure a division title. Their wild 41-38 win over the New Orleans Saints has them 12-0 and steaming toward the No. 1 seed in the NFC. Carolina's remaining schedule is vs. Falcons, @ Giants, @ Falcons, vs. Buccaneers. They could lose one or two games in there, but they stand a great shot of finishing the regular season 16-0.

Arizona took care of business in St. Louis, and remain three games up on Seattle with four to go. Arizona's remaining schedule is vs. Vikings, @ Eagles, vs. Packers, vs. Seahawks. The Seahawks remaining schedule is @ Ravens, vs. Browns, vs. Rams, @ Cardinals. The Cardinals should claim the division, but it's not a complete roll-over for them. I'm pulling for Arizona over Seattle, but it would be pretty funny to see the Cardinals choke it up. Again, I think they clinch the division in Week 15 or 16, but we'll see how it all shakes out.

Here's a quick look at the AFC playoff picture. The Patriots second straight loss drops them out of the byes. The Bengals destroyed the Browns, and can clinch a playoff berth next week. The Broncos and Patriots can both clinch playoff berths next week.

1. Cincinnati Bengals (10-2)
2. Denver Broncos (10-2)
3. New England Patriots (10-2)
4. Indianapolis Colts (6-6)

5. Kansas City Chiefs (7-5)
6. New York Jets (7-5)

7. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5)
8. Buffalo Bills (6-6)
9. Houston Texans (6-6)
10. Oakland Raiders (5-7)
11. Miami Dolphins (5-7)