By Daisy Barringer

As we go into Week 16, with only two games left to play, the 49ers are still very much alive in the playoff race, despite their best efforts to remain out of it. In fact, after watching yesterday’s division rival games, it appears that not one team in the NFC West wants to extend its season past Week 17. And with good reason since it seems that whichever team scrapes out an NFC West division win will become the laughing stock of the playoffs.

All that needed to happen yesterday in order for the 49ers to avoid that humiliation and be eliminated from the playoff hunt was for both Seattle and St. Louis to win. Instead, the Seahawks and Rams both suffered embarrassing losses (Falcons 34,Seahawks 18; Chiefs 27, Rams 13) that kept the 49ers just one game back with two games to play.

If the 49ers win their next two games (in St. Louis and at home against the 4-10 Cardinals), and Seattle drops just one game, then, against all odds, there will be a three-way tie for first place, which the Niners will then win because of their 5-1 NFC West record. And yes, that would mean the 7-9 49ers would be the first losing team in NFL history to advance to the playoffs (not counting the 1982 strike-shortened season).