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Top Tightening – ProFootballTalk

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The 49ers lost their first game of the year on Monday night, which didn't knock them out of the highest perch in the NFC playoff picture, but made things tougher in the No. 1 race [19659003] The win would have left them two games up the Packers and Saints in the losing column and three games up the Seahawks on the same front. However, all three teams are right on the 49ers' tail.

Here's the whole picture of the NFC playoffs with Week 10 in the books.

1. The 49ers (8-1) Monday night's loss cost them a chance at command in the NFC West, but they remain ahead of the conference and division.

2. Packers (8-2) They rebounded from a bad loss and have a week off to prepare for their 49ers shot.

3. Saints (7-2) The frustrated loss to the Falcons hits less thanks to the 49ers and Panthers.

4. The Cowboys (5-4) Sunday's loss to the Vikings creates a tense stretch in Dallas.

5. Seahawks (8-2) They get good bye after playing 70 minutes that have kept their hopes of a division title.

6. The Vikings (7-3) Winning Sunday night solidified Minnesota's divisional advantage with six games remaining in the slate. Aries (5-4) The Aries are home in the next two weeks, but injuries are rising at an inopportune time for last year's NFC champions.

8. Eagles (5-4) Losing the Cowboys is putting them back in the equestrian race for the division title, but they will need to defeat the Patriots this week to take full advantage.

9. Panthers (5-4) They will have to guard against the kind of decay against the Falcons that the Saints are experiencing in the 10th week.

10. Bears (4-5) They got the much-needed win on Sunday and this week they will need another one against Aries to give their remaining hopes for the playoffs.

11. The Lions (3-5-1) Matthew Stafford's health will have a lot to do with the Lions' chances of delaying late.

12. Cardinals (3-6-1) Unless the 49ers win this week, the playoffs' dreams will be put on hold until next year.

13. Buccaneers (3-6) Break a four-game losing streak in Week 10, but they probably dug a hole too deep this season.

14. Falcons (2-7) The games against the Panthers, Saints and 49ers will allow them to have a hand in the playoffs after falling out of it.

15. Giants (2-8) The draft order is more important than the playoff picture.

16. Washington (1-8) The rest of the year will be related to the evaluation of recruited retainer Dwayne Haskins.

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