Programming note: Chat with 49ers Insider Matt Maiocco today at 12 p.m. right here
The 49ers are closing in on a spot in the NFC playoffs. And they can clinch their postseason bid as early as Sunday, according to the NFL.
The 49ers will wrap up their third consecutive trip to the playoffs on Sunday, if the following scenario takes place:
--San Francisco wins at Tampa Bay; and
--Arizona loses at Tennessee; and
--Dallas or Philadelphia loses.
Dallas and Philadelphia are battling for the NFC East title. Dallas (7-6) plays at home against Green Bay, while Philadelphia (8-5) travels to Minnesota.
Currently, the 49ers (9-4) are in line to be the No. 6 seed in the NFC. The Carolina Panthers (9-4) are the No. 5 seed but hold any tiebreaker with the 49ers due to their head-to-head victory.
The 49ers have remaining games against Tampa Bay, at home against Atlanta and at Arizona. The Panthers close the season at home against the New York Jets and New Orleans and a road game at Atlanta.
The 49ers are two games behind the Seattle Seahawks (11-2) in the NFC West standings. Seattle is in line to be the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs, ahead of New Orleans (10-3).
As a wild-card entry into the playoffs, the 49ers can be no higher than the No. 5 seed and would open the playoffs either Jan. 4 or 5 on the road against the NFC East or NFC North winner.