New Orleans Saints: Playoff impact of 49ers loss to Falcons
What does the NFC look like now for the New Orleans Saints with the Atlanta Falcons victory over the top-seeded San Francisco 49ers this week?
Last week, we talked about three things that had to happen for the New Orleans Saints to re-gain the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs. The three things were a Falcons victory over the 49ers, a Bears victory over Green Bay, and a Seattle victory over Carolina. Of the three, two of them happened.
Seattle cruised to an easy victory over the Carolina Panthers. In a stunning turn of events, the Atlanta Falcons upset the San Francisco 49ers. The only one that did not happen was the Bears’ victory over the Packers.
Now, the question remains — where does that leave the New Orleans Saints in the NFC playoff race?
Right now, the Saints stay in the No. 3 seed (No. 2 with a win over the Indianapolis Colts) behind only the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks.
With only the Packers and a divisional game for the Seahawks in front of the New Orleans Saints, once again, they control their own destiny to the No. 1 seed. If they win out, they need the Packers to lose either in Minnesota next week or in Detroit the week after.
It is going to be an extremely tight race to the finish. With the Seahawks, Packers, Saints, and Niners all gunning for the No. 1 overall seed. The No. 2 hangs in the balance as well depending on whoever finishes No. 1.
The Seahawks have to play the 49ers again in week 17. The best-case scenario outcome for that event would be 49ers win — since they are already behind us in the seedings, that would eliminate the Seahawks from the No. 1 contention.
Can we also talk about how the Falcons somehow look incredible on certain weeks and absolutely incapable of others? They’ve defeated the Saints and 49ers yet will still end with only a handful of wins. That team has the talent, just hasn’t put it together.
We could debate with seed is better, but of course, we want our beloved New Orleans Saints on top of the conference at the end. A No. 1 overall seed would mean that the NFC playoff road to the Super Bowl runs entirely through the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.