49ers open up interesting situation if they beat Seahawks in Week 15

Nick Bosa #97 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Nick Bosa #97 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

The equation is simple: If the San Francisco 49ers defeat the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday Night Football, the NFC West returns to the Bay Area. 

On Thursday Night Football, the San Francisco 49ers face the Seattle Seahawks in an NFC West showdown with a pretty simple prize.

Win, and the NFC West is guaranteed to return to the Bay Area once again since the Niners will hold the tiebreaker and can’t possibly be overtaken.

Of course, that also confirms San Francisco will return to the playoffs.

The NFL playoffs situation in general becomes a lot clearer as well since the awful NFC South has a stranglehold on the No. 4 seed for whoever limps over the line as the winner, so the 49ers are assured of the No. 3 seed at the very least even if they lose every other regular-season game after Thursday.

But the No. 2 seed is also within reach for San Francisco.

NFL playoffs: 49ers can contend for No. 2 seed in NFC

The No. 1 seed isn’t realistic unless the Philadelphia Eagles fall off a cliff in the final month, but the Minnesota Vikings are currently struggling for form and are only one game ahead of the 49ers (10-3 to 9-4).

But the key situation isn’t necessarily the overall record, but the fact the Niners would hop above the Vikings in the playoff picture if both teams finish with the same record.

Since San Francisco and Minnesota cannot be separated by the first tiebreaker, since they don’t play one another this year, the second tiebreaker of a conference record is invoked instead.

In this, the script is flipped, as it’s the 49ers who own a one-game advantage in this regard (7-2 to 6-3). Obviously, if the Niners catch up this week, this will not have changed.

Read More: 49ers can clinch NFC West by beating Seahawks on Thursday night

Considering the momentum San Francisco has, it’s certainly well within the realm of possibility to take the second seed and even potentially home-field advantage down the track if the Eagles have a surprising exit from the playoffs. It’s happened before.

Should that happen, it’d be a fine reward for a season that’s been sorely affected by injury and give the 49ers the best chance to return to the Super Bowl.

It all begins on Thursday when the NFC West and a top-three seed potentially await them.

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