NFL Playoff Picture

49ers clinch NFC's No. 1 playoff seed with win over Commanders, Eagles' loss

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The 49ers clinched the NFC's No. 1 seed Sunday, guaranteeing them a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

San Francisco's 27-10 victory over the Washington Commanders at FedExField accounted for half of the equation. However, the 49ers also received help from an NFC West rival.

The Arizona Cardinals' 35-31 win over the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field dropped Philadelphia to 11-5 on the season and sealed 12-4 San Francisco's spot as the NFC's No. 1 seed. The 49ers own a head-to-head tiebreaker over the Eagles because of their Week 13 win in Philadelphia.

The 49ers' path to securing the No. 1 seed became much clearer Saturday night after a controversial penalty on a two-point attempt gave the Dallas Cowboys a 20-19 win over the Detroit Lions, who dropped out of contention for the NFC's top seed.

Had the Lions beaten the Cowboys, they could have locked up the No. 1 seed in Week 18 with a win over the Minnesota Vikings and a 49ers loss to the Los Angeles Rams. Now, the 49ers' result against the Rams will hold no bearing on the final NFC playoff picture, meaning San Francisco effectively has two bye weeks to get healthy and prepare for a playoff run.

The last time the 49ers had the No. 1 seed was during the 2019 NFL season, with San Francisco winning both of its home playoff games en route to Super Bowl LIV in Miami, where it lost to the Kansas City Chiefs.

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