Dallas loss helped 49ers' cause

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The San Francisco 49ers' chances of clinching an NFC playoff berth in Week 15 improved Monday night.

Part of the 49ers' puzzle included a Dallas Cowboys loss at the Chicago Bears on Monday night and that’s what happened. The Bears won 45-28.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, these are now the scenarios by which the 49ers can punch a playoff ticket next week after Dallas' loss:

1. San Francisco win at Tampa Bay + Arizona loss at Tennessee + Philadelphia loss at Minnesota

2. San Francisco win + Arizona loss + Dallas loss to Green Bay