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NFL Playoff Scenarios: Winner Could Take NFC West

The 49ers need to win out to make the playoffs, so their path is clear. They need to beat the St. Louis Rams this Sunday to help their cause and they need to beat the Arizona Cardinals the following week to wrap things up for the regular season. San Francisco already holds victories over both teams this year, and are hoping for another 5-1 NFC West record, same as last year.

One game back of the aforementioned Rams and the Seattle Seahawks, the 49ers can only do their part. They need a little help in that, the Rams and Seahawks both need to lose at least one more game for the Niners to come out on top, even with two wins. Beating the Rams could take care of that for San Francisco, and the best case would probably be the Rams beating the Seahawks when they play in week seventeen. Seems almost poetic, really.

Either way, the Seahawks face a tough team next, as they travel to Tampa Bay to take on the Buccaneers. The Bucs have been a good team this season, albeit one marred with inconsistencies. They beat the 49ers earlier this season, and are the favorites to take it to Seattle on Sunday. If the 49ers win and the Seahawks lose to the Bucs this weekend, the 49ers will need only to beat the Cardinals and they can tie for division lead, and by virtue of a 5-1 NFC West record tiebreaker, the 49ers would go marching into the playoffs, and take a big hit to their draft positioning on top of that.