Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Why 49ers fans might hope San Francisco doesn’t clinch a playoff spot this weekend

Dec 3, 2019 at 10:50 AM--

The San Francisco 49ers (10-2) could clinch a playoff berth this weekend with a win over the New Orleans Saints (10-2) and a loss or tie by the Los Angeles Rams (7-5).

But maybe that's not what the Niner Faithful wants. At least, not yet. That's because the Rams' Week 14 opponent is the division-rival Seattle Seahawks (10-2).

Seattle took over the top spot in the NFC West with its win on Monday night over the Minnesota Vikings after the Baltimore Ravens knocked off San Francisco a day earlier. That dropped the 49ers from the No. 1 spot in the NFC playoff standings to the No. 5 spot. While that would make San Francisco the strongest Wild Card team if the season ended today, it would mean opening the postseason on the road.

Ideally, San Francisco would like to clinch a playoff spot sooner rather than later, ensuring that its season doesn't end in December, but the team would also like to regain the division lead with a Seahawks loss. That means that the best-case scenario might be a 49ers win over the Saints and a Seahawks loss to the Rams, which would postpone a playoff-clinching victory by another week.

The 49ers can also secure a postseason appearance this weekend with a win and a Rams loss or tie, or a 49ers tie and a Rams loss.

Meanwhile, the Seahawks can clinch a playoff spot with a win or tie against the Rams and would love to see the 49ers beat the Saints. That, paired with a Seattle win, would help the Seahawks jump the Saints for the top spot in the NFC playoff standings.

The Saints have already guaranteed at least one playoff home game by winning the NFC South.

San Francisco's final four games of the season include this weekend's road matchup against the Saints, then home games against the Atlanta Falcons and Los Angeles Rams, and finish the season off with a trip to Seattle.

San Francisco clinches playoff berth with:
SF win + LAR loss or tie OR
SF tie + LAR loss

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