Updated NFC Playoff Picture: The NFC South is laughable


Nov 24, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) walks off the field following a loss against the Baltimore Ravens in a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Ravens defeated the Saints 34-27. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints had another glorious opportunity to seize control of the NFC South against the Baltimore Ravens last night, but fell flat on their faces.

We’re entering Week 13 of the regular season, which means we only have several more games to figure things out. We’re back for another installment of the NFC Playoff Picture, and here’s how the Saints stand:

#1 – Arizona Cardinals (9-2)
#2 – Green Bay Packers (8-3)
#6 – Seattle Seahawks (7-4) vs. #3 – Philadelphia Eagles (6-3)
#5 – Dallas Cowboys (8-3) vs. #4 – Atlanta Falcons (4-7)

In the Hunt…

#7 – Detroit Lions (7-4)
#8 – San Francisco 49ers (7-4)
#9 – Chicago Bears (5-6)
#10 – New Orleans Saints (4-7)

The Packers and Seahawks went from completely being out of the playoffs last week to jumping in the mix.

The NFC South is just a wreck of a mess, and it’s nearly embarrassing to see that even at 2-9, the Bucs aren’t eliminated from playoff contention..

1. Atlanta Falcons (4-7), 4-0 division (Wins tiebreaker over New Orleans based on head-to-head)
2. New Orleans Saints (4-7), 2-1 division
3. Carolina Panthers (3-7-1), 1-2 division
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-9), 0-4 division

NFC South impact in Week 13:

Cincinnati at Tampa Bay (12PM CST/1PM EST)

New Orleans at Pittsburgh (12 PM CST/1PM EST)

Carolina at Minnesota (12 PM CST/1PM EST)

Arizona at Atlanta (3:05 PM CST/4:05 PM EST)

Worst Case Scenario: The Falcons and Panthers win while the Saints lose again.

Best Case Scenario: The Saints somehow pull off a road victory while the Falcons and Panthers lose.

What Likely Happens: The Falcons and Saints lose, the Panthers win, and we’re still saying how bad the NFC South is.

Looking Ahead: In Week 14, the Panthers will play the Saints in the Superdome, and that could potentially vault them in the lead for the NFC South. The Falcons will travel to play the Green Bay Packers.

Here’s a quick reminder of how tie breakers work in the division, courtesy of ESPN:

"TO BREAK A TIE WITHIN A DIVISIONIf, at the end of the regular season, two or more teams in the same division finish with identical won-lost-tied percentages, the following steps will be taken until a champion is determined.Two teams1. Head-to-head (best won-lost-tied percentage in games between the teams).2. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the division.3. Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games.4. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.5. Strength of victory.6. Strength of schedule.7. Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed.8. Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed.9. Best net points in common games.10. Best net points in all games.11. Best net touchdowns in all games."