What’s at stake: Playoff scenarios for the Saints

NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 17: Drew Brees
NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 17: Drew Brees /
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With only two games left in the season, there are still a good few playoff implications for the New Orleans Saints, as well as the rest of the NFC South.

The NFC South is still up for grabs by any of the three top teams. And all three teams are holding off hard charging teams from taking away the NFC South dominance for playoff spots.

The most important thing to note is that if the Saints beat Atlanta this week, they clinch a playoff berth. In fact, if they win either of their last two games, they clinch a playoff berth. At that point the worst they could finish would be 11-5, which would be at least a game clear of Atlanta. No other team on the outside looking in could get more than 10 wins.

Scenarios

First, we’ll look at the current standings in the NFC South, because there is a scenario where all three teams get into the playoffs. The Saints currently sit at 10-4 and they have the division lead. Even though their record is the same as the Carolina Panthers, the Saints defeated them twice head to head. So they are the division winners if the playoffs started today. Currently, Carolina has the five seed, which is the first wild card spot. Atlanta has the second wild card spot, which is the six seed.

Were the playoffs to begin today, the Saints would host the Carolina Panthers during Wild Card weekend, while Atlanta would travel to Los Angeles to face the Rams. The Rams are also 10-4, but are ahead of the Saints because they beat them head to head.

That is the “today” scenario, but that scenario cannot stay completely the same because each team in the NFC South plays another team in the division for the last two games of the year. We’ll take the four Saints scenarios first.

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