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NFC Playoff Picture: Win out and win the No. 1 seed

There will be musical chairs seedings wise during the final two weeks

Baltimore Ravens v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The 49ers saw their six-game winning streak snapped by the only team many would consider in the same class as them. Since the loss came to an AFC opponent, it can be considered as a “no harm, no foul” outcome.

The 49ers seeding at the top of the NFC West won’t change as the division is all theirs. Thanks to beating the Philadelphia Eagles head-to-head, the Niners own the tiebreaker. The 49ers have 11 wins like the Detroit Lions, but have two fewer conference losses.

The Eagles and Dallas Cowboys are trending in the wrong direction. The Lions won, but needed four interceptions from Nick Mullens to do so — and still were in a position to lose on the final drive.

The three biggest threats to the 49ers in the NFC all have flaws the Niners can take advantage of. It’s the other Wild Card teams and Baker Mayfield that may be scarier.

Here’s a look at the NFC playoff picture through 16 weeks:


1) San Francisco 49ers: 11-4 (clinched NFC West)

2) Detroit Lions: 11-4 (clinched NFC North)

3) Philadelphia Eagles: 11-4

4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 8-7


5) Dallas Cowboys: 10-5

6) Los Angeles Rams: 8-7

7) Seattle Seahawks: 8-7

Very much alive

8) Minnesota Vikings: 7-8

9) Atlanta Falcons: 7-8

10) Green Bay Packers: 7-8

11) New Orleans Saints: 7-8

Need everything to break their way

12) Chicago Bears: 6-9

13) New York Giants: 5-10

Gone, and certainly forgotten

14) Washington Commanders: 4-11

15) Arizona Cardinals: 3-12

16) Carolina Panthers: 2-13

Tampa Bay now has the longest winning streak in the NFC. They get the Saints at home then the Panthers to end the season. The way Baker Mayfield is playing, Dallas would be on upset watch in the first round.

The NFC West is in line to have a trio of playoff teams. Seattle and Los Angeles have the same record, but the Rams are +25 in point differential while the Seahawks are -32. The Rams won’t have the luxury of the 49ers resting their starters in the final week of the season. They’re on the road in Week 17 to face Tyrod Taylor.

Seattle gets Mason Rudolph and the Pittsburgh Steelers at home this week and will travel to the desert in Week 18 to take on Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals. Somehow, Seattle is getting into the playoffs.

The Vikings face the Packers and the Lions to close out the season. Another loss and they’re likely on the outside looking in. Green Bay’s other opponent is Chicago, so they have the favorable schedule.

The NFC South remains unserious. The Saints are +34 in point differential, but I wouldn’t trust Derek Carr with your money. The Falcons are -1, and have switched quarterbacks a couple of times this season. Neither team feels like they should be playing in the postseason.

Is there a team that you think could give the 49ers a run for their money?