New Orleans Saints: Week 14 could truly decide the NFC’s No. 1 seed
The New Orleans Saints and San Francisco 49ers will both be 10-2 as they enter a head-to-head Week 14 matchup that could decide the conference.
This season has been in every way just as dominant as 2018 for the New Orleans Saints. However, this time, there is some stiff competition in the NFC that came out of nowhere.
The San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks are proven contenders, both not being in Super Bowl contention a year ago. At the same time, there will only be two teams that have a first-round bye in the NFC, and Week 14 could decide if the Saints are one of them.
If the Saints win, they could virtually lock up a first-round bye.
Assuming the Seahawks win on Monday night, the Packers at 9-3 would be the only real competition as the Vikings would move to 8-4.
“The division champion with the second-best record” gets the No. 2 seed. Even if Seattle and San Fran finished with better records than New Orleans, it’d still be possible for the Saints to be given a top-two seed.
This is more about the Saints’ continued dominance than it is what the 49ers do to limit them.
A loss to San Fran could change it all. It’d likely put them in a tie with Green Bay, a team that could easily win their last four games. Their only real challenges for the Packers moving forward are going to Chicago and Minnesota.
Week 14 will prove a few things for New Orleans.
For starters, it’ll either show they truly need a No. 2 receiver or it’ll prove that Michael Thomas is enough. The Niners have the league’s best secondary and are one of just a few teams to allow under 200 passing yards per game.
The defense must be excellent as it’s unlikely that the 49ers allow many points on the board. The Niners are a strong contender because of their defense, and it could be a defensive-focused battle when the two contenders collide.
A loss to San Fran would push New Orleans into contention with Green Bay while a win would set them atop the NFC with a relatively easily last three games of the season.