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NFL Picks, Week 8: NFC West Schedule Could Improve 49ers Chances Further

The San Francisco 49ers host the Cleveland Browns this Sunday looking to improve to 6-1 on the season. While their own wins are important enough, the rest of the NFC West has continued to provide support for the the 49ers run at the NFC West title. The Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams have combined to lose eleven straight games, while the Seattle Seahawks have bounced back and forth and managed only a pair of wins.

Given the road the 49ers are taking through the NFC West, each week we'll provide a rundown of NFC West picks. Additionally, we'll provide picks on games that affect the 49ers playoff positioning. If the 49ers can maintain their current pace, or really anything close to it, they would be the first team to clinch their division. This would mean they would have an opportunity to secure a bye and possibly home field advantage. Accordingly, various games are of great importance to them.

New Orleans Saints @ St. Louis Rams: While this is a home game for the Rams, the New Orleans Saints are coming off a demolition of the Indianapolis Colts. It may have been a crappy Colts team, but the victory was impressive nonetheless. There is a chance of overlooking the Rams, but following Baltimore's stunning upset in Jacksonville, I suspect most big teams will try to avoid looking ahead. Even though the Rams are basically out of the race, the Saints are battling for the NFC South, which means battling San Francisco for that potential #2 seed. PICK: Saints

Cincinnati Bengals @ Seattle Seahawks: The Bengals are playing some solid football, but they will be without Cedric Benson this week as he serves his one-game suspension. Seattle is wildly inconsistent, so anything could happen in this game and it would not surprise me. I think this week, good things happen for Seattle. PICK: Seahawks

Arizona Cardinals @ Baltimore Ravens: The Cardinals get to travel to face a pissed off Ravens squad? Is there any way this does not end poorly for Arizona? PICK: Ravens

The Packers, Buccaneers and Falcons are all teams the 49ers could be dueling for playoff positioning moving forward, and it just so happens all three are on bye this week.

Current NFC Playoff Seeds

1. Green Bay Packers
2. San Francisco 49ers
3. New Orleans Saints
4. New York Giants
5. Detroit Lions
6. Chicago Bears*

*The tie breaker with Tampa Bay and Atlanta is a little funky at the moment