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NFL playoff picture: What does 49ers-Seahawks mean for NFC standings

The 49ers face the Seahawks in Seattle on Thursday. We break down what the game means for the NFL playoff picture.

A general view during the game between the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers at CenturyLink Field on September 25, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Results update: The 49ers beat the Seahawks 21-13 to clinch the NFC West title. The Seahawks drop to 7-7 and remain in eighth place in the conference standings.

The San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks open up Week 14 with a critical NFC West showdown on Thursday Night Football. The game kicks off at 8:15 p.m. ET and the division could be sewn up by the close of Thursday or tighten up for the final three weeks. The 49ers are a 3.5-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook.

49ers playoff picture

The 49ers have a 9-4 record and a two-game lead on the Seahawks in the NFC West. They are currently in third place overall in the NFC, a game back of the Vikings for the No. 2 seed and three games back of the Eagles for the No. 1 seed. They’re three games up on the fourth-place Bucs in the conference standings.

If the 49ers beat the Seahawks, they would clinch the NFC West title. They beat the Seahawks once and a win would give them the season sweep of the head-to-head tiebreaker. They’d be up three games with three to go and the tiebreaker edge would mean they clinch. If they won and the Vikings lost to the Colts on Saturday, the 49ers would move into second place overall.

If the 49ers lose, they’ll be a game up in the NFC West. They would remain in third place in the conference.

Seahawks playoff picture

Seattle is currently in eighth place in the NFC, a little over a half game back of the Giants and Commanders in the wild card race. If the Seahawks win, they’d remain in eighth place heading into Sunday, but would move ahead of the loser of Sunday’s Commanders-Giants game. If somehow the Commanders and Giants tied again, there would be a three-way tie with a .5714 win percentage. The Seahawks would move into sixth place with the conference record tiebreaker edge on the Commanders (who in turn edge out the Giants on the divisional tiebreaker).

If the Seahawks lose on Thursday, they would remain in eighth place even if the Lions win on Sunday due to the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Tiebreaker implications

The head-to-head tiebreaker is on the line in this one. The conference record tiebreaker for overall conference standings will be implicated by this game as well.