Updated NFC playoff standings: 49ers somehow alive in NFC West race

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After COVID-19 forced the NFL to push a pair of games to Tuesday, Week 15 is finally in the books. Tuesday’s games both had an impact for the 49ers’ playoff seeding, but only one went their way.

The Eagles’ victory over Washington helped because it pushed Washington down in the playoff race and the 49ers hold a tiebreaker over the Eagles thanks to their Week 2 victory over them in Philadelphia.

The Rams’ win over the Seahawks effectively eliminated Seattle from the race, but it kept Los Angeles two games ahead of San Francisco for the No. 5 seed in the NFC with three games to play.

Here’s what the playoff standings look like after 15 full weeks:

1. Packers (11-3)
2. Cowboys (10-4)
3. Buccaneers (10-4)
4. Cardinals (10-4)
5. Rams (10-4)
6. 49ers (8-6)
7. Vikings (7-7)

8. Eagles (7-7)
9. Saints (7-7)
10. Washington (6-8)
11. Atlanta (6-8)

It still looks like nine wins will do the trick for the 49ers to clinch an NFC playoff spot thanks to tiebreakers over Minnesota, Philadelphia and Atlanta. They’ll still need a little help though for nine wins to do it. 10 would put them in a more comfortable position and with games coming up against the scuffling Titans and the lowly Texans, a path to 10 victories is easy to chart.

There’s also this: the NFC West crown is still up for grabs. If Arizona loses their next three at home vs. the Colts, on the road vs. the Cowboys and home vs. the Seahawks, and the Rams lose either in Minnesota or in Baltimore, the 49ers would need to win their next two to set up a winner-take-all game between San Francisco and LA for the NFC West title and a home playoff game in the first round.

That scenario isn’t likely, but it’s impossible to rule out anything given how up and down this NFL season has been.

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