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Closer look at playoff picture for 49ers

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The 49ers can strengthen their tenuous playoff hopes by completing a season sweep of the Cardinals on Monday night.

The 49ers could qualify for the playoffs under the following scenarios:

  • 49ers win the rest of their games and the Cardinals lose the rest of theirs, leaving San Francisco alone atop the NFC West with a 9-7 record. Arizona would be 8-8.

  • 49ers win the rest of their games to finish 9-7, and the Cardinals also finish 9-7. The 49ers would own the tiebreaker over Arizona, having swept the Cardinals.

  • 49ers finish tied with Dallas for the final wild-card berth. Both teams would be 8-8. The 49ers would have the superior NFC record.

It's also possible, I think, for the 49ers to find themselves tied for a wild-card spot with multiple teams at 9-7. I started going through some of the scenarios in my head before deciding this might make for a good Excel project. If you've got it all figured out, please share. Tiebreaking procedures here.