NFL standings: 49ers can clinch NFC West in Week 15 by beating Seahawks

George Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
George Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /

The NFL standings in the NFC West now heavily favor the 49ers heading into their Week 15 matchup against the Seahawks that could win the division.

Entering Week 14, it could have been fair to think the San Francisco 49ers would fall apart after losing quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to a foot injury the previous week and are now forced to start a rookie seventh-round NFL Draft pick, Brock Purdy, in his wake.

All the while going up against quarterback Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Yet Purdy and the Niners dominated that game, winning a 35-7 lopsided affair with the rookie being responsible for three touchdowns, and San Francisco subsequently increased its lot in the NFL standings department, too.

Now at 9-4 on the season, the 49ers still couldn’t climb up from the No. 3 seed in the conference’s playoff picture, even though the No. 2-seeded Minnesota Vikings lost to the Detroit Lions (the Niners are a game behind Minnesota now, though). But, with the Bucs leading the NFC South despite falling to 6-7 after Sunday, they’re still in the No. 4 seed but threaten San Francisco even less because of what happened at Levi’s Stadium between the two teams.

To stay in a top-four spot, though, the 49ers still need to win the division.

49ers gain another game in NFL standings with Seahawks losing

The Niners saw another best-case scenario play out in Week 14, first by beating Tampa Bay and handling business.

Equally important, the NFC West’s second-place team, the Seattle Seahawks, lost something of a home shocker to the Carolina Panthers, who are now back in the playoff picture and threatening the Buccaneers for the NFC South’s crown.

That loss drops the Hawks down to 7-6.

While the Los Angeles Rams won their Week 14 matchup over the Las Vegas Raiders, and with the Arizona Cardinals playing on Monday Night Football, the NFC West has nevertheless been a two-team race these last few weeks.

One which San Francisco is winning.

NFC West standings after Week 14

  1. San Francisco 49ers (9-4)
  2. Seattle Seahawks (7-6)
  3. Arizona Cardinals (4-8)*
  4. Los Angeles Rams (4-9)

* to play on Monday Night Football

It’s also important to note the 49ers are a perfect 4-0 within the division and have already beaten the Hawks way back in Week 2.

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Should the Niners pull off a victory on the short week over Seattle on Thursday Night Football, that would clinch the NFC West for head coach Kyle Shanahan’s squad, as San Francisco’s head-to-head tiebreakers would be the difference if both teams still managed to finish with identical records.

The 49ers would prefer something better, of course, and being the road team on such a short week has its challenges, too.

However, with the Seahawks losers of three of their last four, the Niners would love nothing more than to clinch the division again on enemy territory in front of a national audience.

San Francisco and Seattle square off on Thursday Night Football on Dec. 15 at 8:15 p.m. ET.

Next. Brock Purdy, 49ers all get A-grades by smashing Buccaneers. dark