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NFL Playoff Picture: 49ers Closing In On No. 2 Seed

The San Francisco 49ers clawed and battled their way to victory on Saturday as they held off the Seattle Seahawks in a 19-17 victory at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. It was not pretty, but it was effective as the 49ers improved to 12-3, ensuring their first 12-win season since 2001.

The 49ers moved a half game ahead of the New Orleans Saints for the second seed in the NFC playoff race. The Saints play the Falcons on Monday Night Football looking to maintain pace with the 49ers at 12-3. The 49ers hold the tiebreaker due to conference record, which means if the 49ers defeat the St. Louis Rams next week, they clinch the two seed. The same holds true with a Saints loss on Monday or next week.

The 49ers actually have a shot at the number one seed as well. They currently sit a game and a half back of the Green Bay Packers, who will be hosting the Chicago Bears on Sunday Night Football. If the Packers lose to the Bears and next week to the Detroit Lions, a 49ers win over the Rams would actually lock up the number one seed for the 49ers. The odds are slim, but it remains in play for the time-being.

In other playoff news, the Detroit Lions locked up one of the two wild card slots as they improved to 10-5 with a big win over the San Diego Chargers. The Atlanta Falcons are closing in on the other wild card berth and maintain the edge even if the lose to the Saints on Monday. The Giants and Cowboys will square off on Sunday Night Football next week with the winner taking the NFC East and the winner going home for the offseason.