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How the 49ers can clinch home field advantage in Week 16

We discuss the scenarios that could see the San Francisco 49ers lock up home field throughout the playoffs in Week 16.

Running back Christian McCaffrey #23 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates alongside Jake Brendel #64 after scoring a 5-yard rushing touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals during the second quarter of the NFL game at State Farm Stadium on December 17, 2023 in Glendale, Arizona. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers clinched the NFC West in Week 15 and are rolling as the 2023-24 regular season comes down the home stretch. They beat the Cardinals 45-29 this past weekend to clinch the division a week after clinching a playoff berth with a win over the Seahawks.

San Francisco has a one-game lead on the Cowboys, Lions, and Eagles in the NFC standings. They control all the tiebreakers with wins over the Cowboys and Eagles and a two-game lead on the Lions for the conference record tiebreaker. Now, the 49ers head into Week 16 with a chance to lock up the No. 1 seed and home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Sunday update: The Cowboys lost to the Dolphins, but the Lions beat the Vikings, so the 49ers cannot clinch the No. 1 seed with a Monday win over the Ravens.

San Francisco 49ers playoff clinching scenarios - Week 16

  • 49ers win + Cowboys loss + Eagles loss + Lions loss

The 49ers need a lot of help to finish off the No. 1 seed this week. They’re in position to clinch it on their own in Week 17 if they win their next two games, but if they beat the Ravens on Christmas night, they could close things out with two weeks remaining.

The Ravens game is tough enough. The 49ers are a 5.5-point favorite at home against Baltimore in a potential Super Bowl preview. They’ll know going into the game if they can clinch the No. 1 seed.

The Lions open Sunday on the road against the Vikings as a field goal favorite. Later in the afternoon, the Cowboys travel to face the Dolphins as a 1.5-point underdog. Finally, the Eagles host the Giants on Christmas afternoon and are a 10.5-point favorite.

There’s a chance all three lose, but Eagles-Giants is the one most likely to prevent the 49ers clinching later that night.