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.