NFL Playoff Picture: Seahawks Battling For Wildcard, 49ers Looking To Clinch Bye

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 11: Ted Ginn #19 of the San Francisco 49ers outruns Earl Thomas #29 of the Seattle Seahawks on his way to scoring a touchdown on a kickoff return during their season opener at Candlestick Park on September 11, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The San Francisco 49ers will need a win on Saturday afternoon against the Seattle Seahawks to potentially clinch a first-round bye in the NFC Playoffs.

The San Francisco 49ers can clinch a first-round bye in Week 16 with a win over the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday afternoon and a loss on Monday night by the New Orleans Saints.

Under first-year head coach Jim Harbaugh, who turned 48 on Friday, the 49ers have won their first NFC West title since 2002, the first season of the eight-team, 32-team format.

For the Seahawks, Saturday's game is not only an opportunity to avenge a season-opening loss to the 49ers in San Francisco and assure themselves of a non-losing season in Year Two of the Pete Carroll Era, but they can also keep their slim playoff hopes alive by beating the 49ers in the regular season finale at Century Link Field. The Seahawks to beat the 49ers, win again next week against the Arizona Cardinals and get some help to make a return trip to the NFC Playoffs.

For more on the 49ers, visit Niners Nation. For more on the Seahawks, be sure to check out Field Gulls.

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