49ers need help from others to save playoff hopes

By Janie Mccauley

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Dec. 17 2010 12:00 a.m. MST

San Diego Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson, left, make a catch on his way to a touchdown in the second quarter as San Francisco 49ers linebacker Takeo Spikes (51) chases him during an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 16, 2010, in San Diego.

Denis Poroy, Associated Press

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The San Francisco 49ers have hit the desperation stage of their season.

If Seattle and St. Louis both win this weekend, the Niners' slim playoff hopes are officially gone. Because, the Seahawks and Rams face off in the final game of the season in Seattle — which means one of them would wind up with eight victories and the division title in the awful NFC West.

Even if San Francisco (5-9) wins at St. Louis and home against Arizona on Jan. 2, it might not be enough. The 49ers need help.

And, after an embarrassing 34-7 loss at San Diego on Thursday night, coach Mike Singletary is contemplating yet another quarterback switch from Alex Smith back to Troy Smith.

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