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How the 49ers can clinch a playoff berth in Week 18

The 49ers hold the sixth NFC playoff spot but need a win or some help to secure it. We break down what they need to do in Week 18 and where they can land in the 2022 NFL playoffs.

Special Teams Coordinator Richard Hightower of the San Francisco 49ers huddles with the special teams unit on the sidelines during the game against the Houston Texans at Levi’s Stadium on January 2, 2022 in Santa Clara, California. Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

Sunday update: The 49ers stunned the Rams 27-24 in overtime. With the win, the 49ers clinched a playoff berth and knocked out the Saints. San Francisco will be the No. 6 seed and face the Dallas Cowboys in the Wild Card round.

The San Francisco 49ers head into Week 18 with the No. 6 playoff berth, but they have business to take care of on Sunday. They need a win or tie, or a Saints loss or tie to secure the final playoff berth.

The 49ers are 9-7 and sitting a game up on the Saints. They close out the season facing their long-time division rivals, the Los Angeles Rams at Sofi Stadium in Southern California. Jimmy Garoppolo is on track to start the game after missing Week 17 with a thumb sprain.

If the 49ers lose and the Saints beat the Falcons in Atlanta, the two teams would be tied. They did not play each other this season, which means we move on to conference record as the tiebreaker. A Saints win over the Falcons improves their conference record to 7-5 while a 49ers loss to the Rams drops their conference record to 6-6.

San Francisco is a 3.5-point underdog to the Rams at DraftKings Sportsbook. The Saints are a 3.5-point favorite against the Falcons.