The 49ers received few gifts over their bye week.
Their two main rivals for the division crown, the Cardinals and Seahawks, each had come-from behind victories on Sunday. Arizona now has a two-game lead over – and a head-to-head tiebreaker with -- the 49ers, who are tied with Seattle at 4-3.
The only NFC West team that lost was St. Louis, whom the 49ers will face Nov. 2.
Even the conference was cruel to San Francisco. The Lions were losing for most of the game against the Falcons in London. But they erased a 21-0 deficit and won 22-21 on a last-second field goal. At 6-2, they are one game ahead of the Packers for the NFC North lead and both currently are ahead of the 49ers in the conference standings.
The Packers are idle next week, however, and the 49ers, with a win, could tie their 5-3 record. San Francisco would have the tiebreaker in that case due to a better conference record.
The Cowboys (6-1) and the Eagles (5-2) also currently are ahead of the 49ers. Dallas will play Washington on Monday night.
If the playoffs began today ...
NFC West: Cardinals
NFC East: Cowboys or Eagles (pending outcome of Monday’s game)
NFC South: Panthers
NFC North: Lions
Wildcards: Packers and NFC East second place team
Read Matt Barrows’ blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers.