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How the 49ers can clinch the NFC West in Week 15

A win or a Rams loss, with either teams tying would result in an NFC West title

Seattle Seahawks v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The 49ers were the first team to clinch a playoff berth thanks to the New York Giants victory over the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night football in Week 14.

In Week 15, the 49ers can clinch the NFC West by two different scenarios. The first one is pretty simple. Beat the Arizona Cardinals on the road as nearly two touchdown favorites. A tie works, too.

Since it’s a division game, and you can expect the unexpected, let’s say the 49ers stub their toe in the desert. The other NFC West clinching scenario would require a Los Angeles Rams loss or tie. The Rams are hosting a Washington Commanders team that offers little to no resistance defensively. They can score, but slowing down Sean McVay and Matthew Stafford will be a challenge.

The number one goal for most teams heading into the regular season is to win your division. It’s the easiest path to the playoffs and guarantees you a home game. We’re looking at a scenario where Baker Mayfield or Desmond Ridder will host Jalen Hurts or Dak Prescott.

The 49ers winning the NFC West feels like a foregone conclusion at this point. It’s likely to happen on Sunday. But, if, for whatever reason, they don’t clinch in Week 15, it’s only a matter of time before the Niners win the division.

But there is plenty of motivation to keep your foot on the gas if you’re the Niners. They can’t assume the Eagles will keep losing. The No. 1 seed for a team with key starters banged up would do wonders. That extra week of rest is all the inspiration the 49ers need.