Cards stun Seattle, keep 49ers' hopes of NFC West title alive

Cards stun Seattle, keep 49ers' hopes of NFC West title alive
December 22, 2013, 3:30 pm
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Pete Carroll's team failed to wrap up the NFC West title as they lost to the Arizona Cardinals Sunday. (USATSI)

BOX SCORE

The 49ers are still in the hunt for the NFC West title and home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.

Things got a lot more interesting on Sunday with the Arizona Cardinals’ 17-10 victory over the Seattle Seahawks, who saw an end to their 14-game home win streak.

While a Seahawks victory Sunday over Arizona (10-5) would have clinched a playoff appearance for the third consecutive season under coach Jim Harbaugh, the 49ers remained in the hunt for the division title and the No. 1 seed.

The 49ers (10-4) must defeat the Atlanta Falcons on Monday night or the Cardinals next week to make the playoffs. If the 49ers win both games, they will achieve no worse than the No. 5 seed in the playoffs.

But if the 49ers win both games and the Seahawks (12-3) also lose at home to the St. Louis Rams, the 49ers would win the NFC West for the third consecutive season and earn a first-round bye in the playoffs. The 49ers would claim the tie-breaker for the NFC West title based on their better record in games against divisional opponents.

And if all that happens, and the Carolina Panthers (11-4) lose at home against the Falcons on Sunday, the 49ers would enter the playoffs as the No. 1 seed.

The 49ers can clinch a playoff berth on Monday night with a victory over the Falcons. If the 49ers lose, they would play the Cardinals on Sunday with a wild-card spot on the line. The Cardinals and 49ers can both make the playoffs as wild-card teams if the 49ers win Monday and the Cardinals beat the 49ers and New Orleans loses to Tampa Bay.

The final regular-season game in Candlestick Park history is scheduled for Monday night. However, there is still a chance the 49ers could play host to a playoff game before moving next season into Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.

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