Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
The San Francisco 49ers did their part, winning a wild shootout 48-46 on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. The team could have clinched a playoff spot with a Los Angeles Rams loss, but regaining the lead in the NFC West and forgoing the postseason lock another week was probably more significant.
That’s exactly what happened after the Rams beat the Seattle Seahawks 28-12 on Sunday night. Seattle fell to 10-3, allowing the 11-2 49ers to regain the division and conference lead.
The Seahawks fall back down to the No. 5 seed in the NFC playoff standings while the Green Bay Packers take over the No. 2 seed from Seattle.
San Francisco has three more games remaining on its schedule, including an important Week 17 road matchup against the Seahawks. Next up will be back-to-back home games against the Atlanta Falcons and the Los Angeles Rams before that trip to CenturyLink Field.
NFC division leaders with bye weeks
1 Seed: San Francisco 49ers (11-2)
2 Seed: Green Bay Packers (10-3)
NFC division leaders in the Wildcard round
3 Seed: New Orleans Saints (10-3)
4 Seed: Dallas Cowboys (6-7)
5 Seed: Seattle Seahawks (10-3)
6 Seed: Minnesota Vikings (9-4)