New Orleans Saints: A look at the NFC Playoff Picture after Week 13
The New Orleans Saints are now the top dog in the NFC standings.
The Seahawks now take the lead in the NFC West ahead of the 49ers, while the New Orleans Saints jump to the top of the conference mountain and break the tiebreaker because of their 33-27 Week 3 win at Seattle.
The Saints have already clinched the NFC South with their 26-18 win on Thanksgiving over the Falcons and cannot fall lower than the No. 4 seed in the postseason standings. However, they’ll have a matchup with San Fran that could change the dynamic of the top two seeds again.
After the end of Week 13, this layout shows the current NFC Playoff Picture.
The fight for supremacy in the NFC West will continue with four regular-season games left, and San Francisco meets Seattle again in the regular-season finale, which may be called the
“NFC West Championship.”
Winning a division is the difference between earning a potential first-round bye in the playoffs or traveling on the road to play in the Wild Card round.
For the Saints, the Seahawks helped the team out with its win over the Vikings, as they enter its Week 14 matchup with the 49ers as the No. 1 seed in the NFC.
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This game is the most important one of the season for New Orleans, as it faces a team that has the potential to make a deep postseason run.
The 49ers possess an offense that is second in the NFL in points scored per game (29.1), seventh in total yards per game (378.0) and second in rushing yards per game (148.0).
San Francisco also boasts the league’s second-best defense in points allowed per game (15.2) and the best in total yards allowed per game (250.9) and passing yards per game (134.2).
New Orleans enters this week’s contest with some statement wins like its ones over the Houston Texans and Seattle Seahawks, but it has not faced an aggressive opponent like the San Francisco 49ers.
For the Saints to win, and presumably hold the No. 1 seed in the NFC for the playoffs, they will have to contain the 49ers’ running attack and pressure quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to try and make plays.
Garoppolo has thrown for 2,896 yards, 21 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions and isn’t labeled as one of the game’s top signal-callers, so look for New Orleans to find itself with turnover opportunities.
His play is just above average for quarterbacks, but he can be erratic at times behind center.
Offensively, quarterback Drew Brees may have trouble through the air with this San Francisco pass defense a lack of wide receivers not named Michael Thomas, so head coach Sean Payton may look for a run-based attack this week.
The 49ers have the league’s 22nd-ranked rushing defense, as they allow 116.7 yards per game on the ground, so running backs Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray can expect some major workloads in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
December is here, Saints fans, and it’s time for some playoff-type football to set in and remain there up until Super Bowl LIV in Miami.