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NFC playoff picture: 49ers among league's elite through first half of season

Halfway through the season, the playoff picture in the NFC is starting to come into focus. The San Francisco 49ers are in sound position for a postseason berth.

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

With eight games played and at a bye week, the San Francisco 49ers are in sound position for a playoff spot. But there remains work to be done.

As of now, Jim Harbaugh's team stands as the fourth seed in the NFC playoff race with a solid 6-2 start to the year.

The Atlanta Falcons remain perfect at 7-0, and the Chicago Bears have quietly gone 6-1 so far. Each team is currently in position to hold first-round byes in the playoffs.

The 49ers sit tied with the New York Giants record-wise, but the 26-3 victory by New York over San Francisco on Oct. 14 gives the Giants the tie-breaker in the standings. They would play the Minnesota Vikings in the wild card round. Meanwhile, the 49ers would be matched up in the wild card round with the Green Bay Packers, who are surging and 5-3 on the season.

San Francisco is being chased by some familiar NFC West faces. The Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks are both 4-4.