49ers NFC playoffs clinching scenarios

USA TODAY Sports

How can the San Francisco 49ers clinch a playoff spot?

At 9-3-1 on the season, the San Francisco 49ers have a firm grasp on the NFC West Division with only three games left. The Seattle Seahawks, at 8-5, also have three games remaining this year, but won't be able to climb into the division lead unless the 49ers falter down the stretch.

San Francisco heads to Gillette Stadium to face the New England Patriots on Sunday, and a win would clinch their spot in the playoffs.

There are other options for the 49ers to clinch this weekend, according to CSN Bay Area.

If the 49ers tie the Patriots, a number of scenarios could thrust them into the playoffs.

A loss or tie for all three of Dallas (against Pittsburgh), Washington (against Cleveland) and Minnesota (against St. Louis) would give San Francisco a playoff berth. In another tie scenario for the 49ers against the Patriots, a Dallas loss or tie, combined with a Washington loss or tie, and the Green Bay-Chicago game ending in anything other than a tie would also give them a postseason ticket. A Chicago loss, plus both a Dallas and Minnesota loss or tie would put San Francisco in the playoffs if they tie New England as well. So too would a New York Giants loss to Atlanta, a Chicago loss and a Minnesota loss or tie.

Finally, losses by all three of Minnesota, Dallas and Washington, plus a Seattle loss or tie would automatically lock the 49ers into the postseason.

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