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NFC playoff picture: 49ers in control of division after Week 9

The 49ers enjoy a lead in the division race, but still has work to do if it wants to earn a bye.

Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

The San Francisco 49ers are in control of their playoff destiny as they are two games in the loss column ahead of the second-place Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West. The Seahawks have played on more game, and sit at 5-4 with the Niners at 6-2.

Division records and the head-to-head match-up also play in San Francisco's favor. The 49ers have already defeated Seattle, and the Seahawks are 0-3 in NFC West games. If the two teams were to end up tied and split the season series, it is likely that the Niners would earn a tiebreaker on division record. San Francisco is 2-0 in the division so far.

The 49ers were able to earn a bye last season, but they will have to overcome either the Falcons or Bears to do the same in 2012. The Bears are at 7-1, while the Falcons remain undefeated at 8-0. The Niners will have a prime opportunity to overtake Chicago, as the two teams meet in San Francisco on Nov. 19.