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Packers, 49ers can clinch playoff spots this week

San Francisco 49ers v Green Bay Packers Getty Images

It’s that time of year: The NFL has distributed playoff scenarios for the first time in 2011.

According to a release sent out by the league today, the Packers and the 49ers can become the first two teams to clinch playoff spots, if they win on Thanksgiving and then get some help.

If the Packers beat the Lions on Thanksgiving, they can clinch a playoff spot if any of the following three things happen.
1. The Cowboys and Falcons lose.
2. The Cowboys and Saints lose.
3. The Falcons and Giants lose.

And if the 49ers beat the Ravens on Thanksgiving, all they’d need to clinch the NFC West is the Seahawks losing to the Redskins on Sunday.

If the 49ers do clinch this week, they’ll be just the sixth team since the NFL expanded to a 16-game season in 1978 to clinch a playoff berth after 11 games. The other five were the 11-0 Colts in 2009, the 11-0 Patriots in 2007, the 10-1 Eagles in 2004, the 10-1 49ers in 1997 and the 11-0 Bears in 1985.

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32 Responses to “Packers, 49ers can clinch playoff spots this week”
  1. skeebo80 says: Nov 22, 2011 2:59 PM

    Stuffed Raven sounding much better than Turkey this year.

  2. j0esixpack says: Nov 22, 2011 3:04 PM

    What’s the point?

    Rex Ryan already announced that the Jets would win their second consecutive Super Bowl title this year.

  3. karlton2 says: Nov 22, 2011 3:05 PM

    and 2 years later the 2009 Colts (11-0) will be the 2011 Colts (0-11).

  4. nineroutsider says: Nov 22, 2011 3:07 PM

    I am interested in reading the creative ways haters will minimize what the Niners are doing this year. Type away…

    It’s all good…Sundays are fun in the bay again!

  5. captainwisdom8888 says: Nov 22, 2011 3:11 PM

    Thumbs up if you think the 49ers will be the sweethearts of the regular season and get bounced first round of the playoffs…

  6. trefkennedy says: Nov 22, 2011 3:25 PM

    Teamcowboys gonna beat the 49ers in the divisional round of playoffs

  7. beavertonsteve says: Nov 22, 2011 3:49 PM

    Only the 49ers cane be the 6th team, not the Packers?

  8. jrmbadger says: Nov 22, 2011 3:59 PM

    In other news Brett Favre was quoted as saying that he cant believe the Packers hadn’t clinched a playoff spot sooner.

  9. honolulubluekoolaid says: Nov 22, 2011 4:05 PM

    I hope you lose 49ers!

  10. schmokes says: Nov 22, 2011 4:08 PM

    The NFC west is like the special Olympics. Even if you win…….

  11. thehighhat says: Nov 22, 2011 4:41 PM

    And somewhere delusional Seachicken fans are thinking they are going to STILL win the West!

  12. smoothjimmyapollo says: Nov 22, 2011 4:51 PM

    “I am interested in reading the creative ways haters will minimize what the Niners are doing this year. Type away…”

    Read what Deadspin wrote about them earlier today. In short, they say an average team added a few good players and is having unsustainable good fortune in terms of things like fumble recovery rates and long field goals in close games.

    Eventually, Alex Smith will be put in a position of trying to keep up with Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers, and well, he’s Alex Smith, I think we know how that’s going to end.

  13. rpiotr01 says: Nov 22, 2011 4:54 PM

    Post-lockout Mediocrity 2011! Woo!

  14. johngaltwho says: Nov 22, 2011 5:02 PM

    It shows that the 49ers get to clinch early because they play in an incredibly weak division. They get to play 6 games against teams in their division who at this point are 9 and 21 collectively while The Packers play in a division with teams that are currently 16 and 14. The 9ers are a good team with a very favorable schedule. Thursday should be a good test however for both of the current NFC leaders.

  15. greetingsfromminnesota says: Nov 22, 2011 5:03 PM

    It’ll be hard to lose in the first round of the playoffs with a first round bye.

  16. johngaltwho says: Nov 22, 2011 5:04 PM

    Oh and by the way – Alex Smith IS a game manager!

  17. sbxxix says: Nov 22, 2011 5:32 PM

    trefkennedy says:
    Nov 22, 2011 3:25 PM
    Teamcowboys gonna beat the 49ers in the divisional round of playoffs

    Without a doubt! Romo is gonna win the division, not fumble a hold on a kick, win a playoff game on the road the first round and then travel to the bay area and have a great game against the best defense in the NFL… Only a Cowboy fan would say that. Everything is bigger in Texas except for people’s brains

  18. jerrykill4pres says: Nov 22, 2011 6:32 PM

    I would say the Packers have an easy schedule.. They do play my Vikings twice a year. So that’s 2 very easy wins. But the Bears, and Lions are playing good this year. It is possible the Packers might lose a game before the playoffs. But come the playoffs, it will be the Packers 38, New England 17 in the super bowl… Packers 2 in a row, and a safe bet to make it 3…

  19. briank1ne says: Nov 22, 2011 8:01 PM

    Niners are gonna win on thanksgiving.

  20. garyman1 says: Nov 22, 2011 8:09 PM

    How great would a Lions/49’rs rematch be in the playoffs….

  21. manofsteel22 says: Nov 22, 2011 8:28 PM

    @sbxxix not going jump on what Kennedy is saying because that has yet to come to past and the niners are doing work this year .. But I’m confused refresh my memory who gave the 49ers their one lost this year at candlestick? Couldn’t of been Dallas ? No ..much less a QB that went out with a few broken ribs and a punctured lung only to come against the best Defense in the NFL. Ah what do I know just another brainless cowboy fan here . Hope to have a chance for a rematch .

  22. jimmylions says: Nov 22, 2011 8:42 PM

    Green Bay winning the NFC Norris division is a forgone conclusion, but it won’t happen this week.

  23. jc1958cool says: Nov 22, 2011 9:02 PM

    just let them play for the NFC title , the rest can go home now!!! book it

  24. jarrman46 says: Nov 22, 2011 9:26 PM

    The only reason 49ers can clinch this early is because the other teams suck in that division. Though its not San Frans fault it is very fortunate for them. The other 3 divisions just have better teams in them. I would expect that San Fran will be feeling pretty good about themselves after all those NFC west games at the end of the year and a first round bye. Then i also predict they will lose in the divisional round to the Saints because they will have been coasting for the last 5 weeks.

  25. travisblink619 says: Nov 22, 2011 9:36 PM

    Hate on. Dallas got pretty lucky with a rookie coaching mistake, and you Cowboy fans honestly know it. Tomorrow played an out standing 4th quarter and OT, but he may not have had the chance had Harbaugh taken the 15 yard penalty. Lets just say Niners won that game and they are sitting at 9-0, I think so many people are drinking the Aa-Rod Koolaid, Niners still get hated on. Even if you really consider the difficulty of schedule has actually been tougher for the Niners thus far.

  26. travisblink619 says: Nov 22, 2011 9:39 PM

    Romo not *Tomorrow: correction for previous post. Damn selective text.

  27. EvanZ says: Nov 22, 2011 11:30 PM

    Funny how people keep saying Niners are only 9-1 because of their weak division. Too much listening to Tony Kornholio I guess. Fact is they’ve only played two games against the NFC West. But he, don’t let facts get in the way of a good story.

  28. discosucs2005 says: Nov 22, 2011 11:37 PM

    @smoothjimmyapollo

    Recovering fumbles may not be a predictor of long term successn, but not throwing interceptions and not allowing any rush TDs with a a good front 7, and allowing very few sacks because of good o-line play, and consistent special team play at every position, are all indicators of long term success. Solid lines on both sides, and efficiency at the skill positions.

    The weak division is the reason they can clinch so early, but it is not the reason they are 9-1 (tougher schedule than the Packers).

    People can sit around and pick apart every weakness the 49ers have, but you can do that with every team, even the Packers (poor defense, no running game). Picking teams to not win the Super Bowl is really easy. If you aren’t a Packer fan, your team has a worse record than the 49ers, and that will be true for at least another 12 days. If you are a Packer fan, carry on.

  29. suspendingbj says: Nov 23, 2011 12:46 AM

    Cowboys get a small streak and every fan is claiming they are going to make a playoff run. For those saying the cowboys will beat the niners in the playoffs. Good luck getting past Green Bay.

    GB – 1 seed
    SF – 2 seed
    NO – 3 seed

    NO will win their game and go to SF. SF has easy schedule and GB a 1 seed is forgone conclusion. No matter what seed dallas gets they will go to GB unless NO loses. only 2 teams that i see knocking out the niners are Saints or Pack. and lets get realistic. 49ers vs Packers @ Lambeau for NFC championship game will bring back an old rivalry that GB dominated in mid 90’s.

    Keep dogging on the niners though. Its only motivating them more. Its always the teams that no one says can do it that always show everyone up. 2007 Giants anyone?

  30. monstoro15 says: Nov 23, 2011 12:53 AM

    It’s going to the 49ers and Packers in the NFC Championship.
    49ers have the type of team that will go far in the playoffs. They’re a very old school westcoast team.
    Run heavy, short, safe pass plays to get long 3rd downs. An intimidating rush defense and stingy defense.
    I’m no physic, but I think the 49ers can go to the Superbowl. Even if they don’t, making it to the playoffs will not only give this team experience in the playoff level, but raise hopes. 8 years without playoff berth is too long of a wait. Keep doing what you’re doing 49ers.

  31. keepthisrealbro says: Nov 23, 2011 3:43 AM

    Not even one “niners can’t win without gore” comment…. whats going on here???????

  32. grpatriot says: Nov 23, 2011 8:08 AM

    Very excited for this one! Two Teams that will knock each other out! Hate to be the guy that is responsible for the injury report…

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