The New Orleans Saints are still in the race for the top seed in the NFC, but they’ll need some Week 17 help from the Chicago Bears.
There are two ways the Saints secure the No. 1 seed in the NFC. However, neither are likely after the team dropped two straight games, one to the Jalen Hurts-led Eagles and the other to reigning Super Bowl champs.
One scenario is that the Packers lose out. Green Bay has Tennessee and Chicago still on their schedule. Both teams will still be competing at a high level given that they’ll be fighting for either a Wild Card spot or postseason seeding.
However, Green Bay has three losses and double-digit wins for a reason. They’re that good, and Aaron Rodgers is playing at an MVP level. It’s unlikely they lose both games. Assuming they win won and lose one, their win has to be against the Titans and their loss to the Bears.
Why? Well, NOLA.com’s Amie Just gave a good explanation on how it has to work.
If Green Bay beats the Bears and loses to the Titans, they’d have a better NFC record. However, if the tiebreaker is between just the Packers and Saints, Green Bay’s early-season victory over New Orleans will hold them in the top seed.
A three-way tie and a Green Bay loss to Chicago or two straight Green Bay losses are how the Saints get the top seed. With the Packers unlikely to lose, the Saints must hope for two Seattle wins and a Green Bay loss to the Bears.
That’s how the Saints get that highly-craved first-round bye that they missed out on last season. They, at one point this season, controlled their own destiny. With those two losses in Week 14 and Week 15, that completely changed.
Now, they’ll need a bit of help, and FiveThirtyEight gives them a 26 percent chance of getting it.