The Minnesota Vikings need a lot to go right in both Week 16 and 17 in order to clinch a playoff berth, and it must start with a win over the New Orleans Saints.
Entering Week 16, the New Orleans Saints will welcome the Minnesota Vikings. After a three-game road trip, the Saints returned home to take on the Kansas City Chiefs in a game they eventually lost 32-29.
New Orleans is sadly on a two-game losing streak.
It hasn’t been an easy few weeks as the team watched their star receiver placed on injured reserve. Michael Thomas will miss the remainder of the regular season. That’s been a massive loss for the Saints.
While it may be smart to rest Drew Brees as well, he’ll be the starter moving forward, and he’ll likely get the bulk of the reps against Minnesota. Even if Brees isn’t at 100 percent, it looks like he’ll be taking the field in an attempt to clinch the division.
The Saints have already locked up a playoff berth, and with the No. 1 seed seemingly out of reach as Green Bay doesn’t seem to be slowing down, they need to focus their resources on securing the No. 2 seed, guaranteeing home-field advantage for the first two games of the playoffs.
They can do so by defeating the Minnesota Vikings. I think I can speak for every Saints fan when I say it would feel great to eliminate the Vikings from playoff contention.
If the Vikings drop to 6-9, it seems impossible they get in the playoffs with the seventh seed currently in the hands of the 8-6 Cardinals. The only hope for the Vikings is to win against the Saints, get a ton of luck and then also defeat the Lions in Week 17.
If they do that and see luck in their favor, this could be a Wild Card matchup that is rematched at the beginning of the new year. That seems unlikely, and I’m sure the Saints would rather they eliminate Minnesota and clinch the division than watch their team lose a third-straight game.
That said, it’s possible this is a Wild Card preview but very unlikely. Also, one more New Orleans loss could push them to the third seed in the conference, allowing Seattle to take over the second spot.