Last place, next year's final two opponents on line for 49ers vs. Bengals

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- If the San Francisco 49ers lose to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, the Niners will “clinch” last place in the NFC West for the first time since 2005.

Because even though a loss would move the Niners two games behind the St. Louis Rams with two games remaining -- the Niners play at the Detroit Lions next week before closing out the season with a home game against the Rams on Jan. 3 while the Rams play at the Seattle Seahawks before coming to Levi’s Stadium -- the Rams would hold the tiebreaker.

The first tiebreaker is head-to-head, and in this scenario of both teams finishing 6-10 with the 49ers losing to the Bengals but beating the Lions and Rams and the Rams falling to the Seahawks and the 49ers, St. Louis and the Niners would have split their meetings.

Tiebreaker No. 2 would then come into play, which is record in the division. The Rams have already won three games in the NFC West, while the Niners are 0-5 with only one divisional game remaining -- against St. Louis.

Advantage, Rams.

As such, the Niners’ final two opponents for next season come into sharper focus as they would play host to the last-place team from the NFC East, currently the Dallas Cowboys, who are two games behind the triumvirate of Washington, the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles. The 49ers would also travel to the last-place team from the NFC North, currently the Lions, who are a game behind the Chicago Bears, though they have already beaten them and close out the regular season at Soldier Field.

The rest of the Niners’ opponents for 2016…

Home: New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks, Rams.

Road: Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, Arizona, Seattle, Rams.