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Clifford Gordin, Associated Press
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith (11) and tight end Vernon Davis (85) celebrate after they connected on a 42-yard touchdown in the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks in San Francisco, Sunday, Dec. 12, 2010.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — When 49ers president Jed York declared his team would still make the playoffs despite an 0-5 start, plenty of people questioned his sanity. No NFL team has ever done it, though the 1992 Chargers bounced back after losing their first four games to finish 11-5 and win the division.

Suddenly, the playoffs are still a distinct possibility for San Francisco.

The 49ers (5-8) are just one game out in the awful NFC West behind co-leaders Seattle and St. Louis with only a couple of days to get ready for Thursday night's game at San Diego.

San Francisco staved off elimination with a commanding 40-21 win over the Seahawks on Sunday — and probably helped coach Mike Singletary's job status, too.