Six ways 49ers can clinch playoff spot

Six ways 49ers can clinch playoff spot
December 11, 2012, 10:30 am
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Even with a loss in New England, 49ers fans could still see a playoff berth on Sunday. (USA TODAY IMAGES) 

The 49ers can clinch a spot in the NFC playoffs with a victory Sunday night against the New England Patriots. That's easy enough, right?

And the 49ers can wrap up their second straight NFC West title with a victory and a Seattle Seahawks loss to the Buffalo Bills in Toronto.

But there are also five other scenarios in which the 49ers can be guaranteed a spot in the playoffs even with a loss against the Patriots.

If at least one of the following six scenarios occurs, the 49ers will punch their ticket to the playoffs, according to the NFL:

1) The 49ers win at New England.

2) The 49ers tie, plus a Dallas Cowboys loss or tie (vs. Pittsburgh), plus a Washington loss or tie (at Cleveland), plus a Minnesota loss or tie (at St. Louis).

3) The 49ers tie, plus a Dallas loss or tie, plus a Washington loss or tie, plus the Green Bay-Chicago game does not end in a tie.

4) The 49ers tie, plus Dallas loss or tie, plus Minnesota loss or tie, plus Chicago loss.

5) The 49ers tie, plus New York Giants loss (at Atlanta), plus Minnesota loss or tie, plus Chicago loss.

6) Minnesota loss, plus Dallas loss, plus Washington loss, plus Seattle loss or tie.