Where 49ers stand in NFC playoff race after Bengals win


Miraculously, the 49ers held on to beat the Cincinnati Bengals in overtime Sunday, and with four regular-season games remaining, they're in a great position to claim one of the NFC's three wild-card spots, as the NFL playoff picture takes shape.

Winning 26-23 on a walk-off touchdown pass from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco improved to 7-6 on the season with its thrilling Week 14 win. 

The 49ers led for most of the game, but a seven-play, 95-yard drive led by Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow allowed Cincinnati to tie the score at 20 with 2:40 remaining in the regulation.

Later, on the opening drive in overtime, the Bengals marched downfield and kicked a go-ahead field goal, taking a 23-20 lead. San Francisco responded by putting together an incredible seven-play, 78-yard drive to win it, and the rest was history.

With the win over the Bengals, the 49ers leapfrogged the Washington Football Team (6-7) -- which lost to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday -- and reclaimed No. 6 seed positioning in the NFC.

The Los Angeles Rams (8-4) still remain ahead of the 49ers, and will face the Arizona Cardinals on Monday night. A Rams loss would further narrow the gap between them and the 49ers, but San Francisco owns the head-to-head tiebreaker because of its blowout Week 10 win over LA.

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In Week 15, San Francisco will face the Atlanta Falcons at Levi's Stadium. Despite their losing record, the Falcons (6-7) still are very much in the thick of the wild-card race, so the game will have huge playoff implications.


NFC playoff standings

Playoff picture

No. 1: Green Bay Packers (10-3)

No. 2: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10-3)

No. 3: Arizona Cardinals (10-3)

No. 4: Dallas Cowboys (9-4)

No. 5: Los Angeles Rams (9-4)

No. 6: San Francisco 49ers (7-6)

No. 7: Washington Football Team (6-7)

Outside looking in

No. 8: Minnesota Vikings (6-7)

No. 9: Philadelphia Eagles (6-7)

No. 10: Atlanta Falcons (6-7)

No. 11: New Orleans Saints (6-7)

No. 12: Carolina Panthers (5-8)

No. 13: Seattle Seahawks (5-8)

No. 14: Chicago Bears (4-8)

No. 15: New York Giants (4-9)

No. 16: Detroit Lions (1-10-1)

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