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NFL Week 15 playoff picture: 49ers join Eagles in the NFC playoffs, five spots still open

Mike Florio and Chris Simms explain how Micah Parsons questioning Jalen Hurts’ MVP candidacy shoots the Cowboys in the foot ahead of Week 16.

The 49ers have won the NFC West, becoming the second team in the NFC to clinch a playoff berth and the first to clinch their division.

Thursday night’s win over the Seahawks made the 49ers the NFC West champions. The 49ers actually don’t have a whole lot to play for over the final three weeks of the season: They’re very unlikely to catch the Eagles for the No. 1 seed, or to fall behind the Buccaneers for the No. 4 seed, so the only real question is whether they’ll finish ahead of the Vikings for the No. 2 seed.

Here’s how the NFC playoff picture looks after Thursday night:

1. Eagles (12-1) Hard to envision a scenario where the road to the Super Bowl doesn’t go through Philadelphia.

2. Vikings (10-3) Likely to win the NFC North, but not looking like a Super Bowl team.

3. 49ers (10-4) Even down to third-string quarterback Brock Purdy, the 49ers look like contenders.

4. Buccaneers (6-7) They don’t look good, but someone has to win the NFC South.

5. Cowboys (10-3) Unlikely to catch the Eagles in the division, which means they’ll probably have to win three road games to reach the Super Bowl.

6. Commanders (7-5-1) Currently have the tiebreaker over the Giants based on a better record within the NFC East.

7. Giants (7-5-1) A big game on Sunday night against the Commanders.

8. Seahawks (7-7) After a hot start, the playoffs appear to be slipping away from the Seahawks.

9. Lions (6-7) Sunday’s game against the Jets is very important to both conferences’ playoff races.

10. Packers (5-8) Green Bay owns the strength of victory tiebreaker over Carolina.

11. Panthers (5-8) Carolina has the division record tiebreaker over Atlanta.

12. Falcons (5-8) Still only a game out in the NFC South.

13. Cardinals (4-9) No real chance of a late-season run, especially after Kyler Murray’s injury.

14. Saints (4-9) Blowing their Monday night game against the Buccaneers cost them a share of the NFC South lead.

15. Rams (4-9) Baker Mayfield could make the last few games of an awful season interesting.

16. Bears (3-10) Mathematically eliminated.