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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.

December 16, 2012 at 9:31 PM

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West watch: 49ers in the driver's seat

W | L | T
W | L | T
San Francisco10-3-12-1-1
St. Louis6-7-14-0-1

The 49ers' victory over New England on Sunday night won't lessen the excitement heading into their game in Seattle on Sunday night.

It did lessen the stakes, though.

Had San Francisco lost to the Patriots, the game in Seattle would have been for first place in the NFC West.

Instead, the 49ers now need only one victory -- or one Seattle loss -- to clinch a second consecutive division title. San Francisco's victory over New England was remarkable both for the way in which the 49ers got out to a 31-3 lead and then rallied after giving up 28 consecutive points to the Patriots in a 15-minute span in the second half.

SEATTLE (9-5)Seahawks 49ERS (10-3-1)for-mark-1-cl.gif
Sunday: Beat Buffalo, 50-17Sunday: Beat New England, 41-34
Dec. 23vs. San Francisco (10-3-1)Dec. 23at Seattle (9-5)
Dec. 30vs. St. Louis (6-7-1)Dec. 30vs. Arizona (5-9)
ARIZONA (5-9)car-mark-1-cl.gif ST. LOUIS (6-7-1)ram-mark-1-cl.gif
Sunday: Beat Detroit, 38-10Sunday: Lost to St. Louis, 36-22
Dec. 23vs. Chicago (8-6)Dec. 23at Tampa Bay (6-8)
Dec. 30at San Francisco (10-3-1)Dec. 30at Seattle (9-5)

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