49ers Playoff Chances: How the Niners Can Win the NFC West in Week 15

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Brock Purdy during a 49ers-Buccaneers matchup in December 2022

The San Francisco 49ers have been through quite the ordeal at the quarterback position this season, haven’t they?

Despite leading the Niners to a pair of NFC Championship Game appearances and a Super Bowl in the last three years, Jimmy Garoppolo was on the trading block this past offseason. But when John Lynch couldn’t find any takers, he brought Jimmy G back at a discounted price to serve as the backup to Trey Lance.

And it was obviously a good thing that he did, as Lance broke his ankle in Week 2. Garoppolo stepped in and was playing some of the best football of his career before breaking his foot in Week 13, which brought rookie Brock Purdy into the mix. And “Mr. Irrelevant” has been anything but as the rookie has led the Niners to wins over the Miami Dolphins and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the last two weeks.

It’s not often that a team with three different starting quarterbacks can compete for a division title, let alone a Super Bowl. But that’s where we are with the 49ers, who can wrap up the NFC West in Week 15.

49ers playoff chances: How the Niners can clinch the NFC West on ‘Thursday Night Football’

Brock Purdy during a 49ers-Buccaneers matchup in December 2022
Brock Purdy of the San Francisco 49ers looks on in the third quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Levi’s Stadium on December 11, 2022 | Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Coming off a dominant win over Tom Brady and the Bucs this past Sunday, the 49ers currently sit in the No. 3 spot in the NFC standings at 9-4 and hold a two-game lead over the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West.

But that two-game lead is actually more like three as San Francisco trounced Seattle, 27-7, back in Week 2. So if the Niners can win the rematch on Thursday night, they’ll clinch their second division title in four years as they’ll own the head-to-head tiebreaker. A win would also secure the 49ers’ first season sweep in the series since 2011.

But even if the Seahawks, who are coming off a devastating loss to the Carolina Panthers, manage to pull off the upset, San Francisco is still in the driver’s seat with an easier schedule down the stretch.

The Niners face the Commanders, Raiders, and Cardinals over the final three weeks of the season, while the Seahawks square off with the Chiefs, Jets, and Rams.

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