If the New Orleans Saints don’t get the first-round bye, they have a chance at playing one of these three teams on Wild Card weekend.
The New Orleans Saints have a chance still at getting the first-round bye in the playoffs with one scenario. For that to happen, they would need Green Bay to lose to Chicago; they would need to beat Carolina; Seattle would need to beat San Francisco.
That is the one chance that the Saints have at not having to play in the Wild Card weekend. Let’s just say for sake of this article that the Saints win, but not everything falls into place for them to get the No. 1 overall seed in the NFC.
Now, they have to play in Wild Card Weekend. They could play one of these three opponents with these three scenarios.
Chicago Bears (with a Bears win over Green Bay + an Arizona Cardinals loss)
The Chicago Bears currently sit as the No. 7 team in the NFL playoffs. If the Bears win over Green Bay in Week 17, they will have secured a playoff spot. That spot will be either the No. 6 or No. 7 spots depending on the outcome of the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams game.
If the Arizona Cardinals lose then the Bears will stay at the No. 7 spot. This is the best-case scenario for the Saints without getting the No. 1 seed. The Bears have won three games since Week 5, they are not ready for the playoffs. The Seahawks would have to lose as well.
Arizona Cardinals (with a win over Los Angeles + a Chicago Bears win)
The second scenario would have the Saints facing the Cardinals. This would happen if the Cardinals beat the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. The Cardinals would have the better record in their division and pull the playoff spot over the Rams.
They would also need the Bears to win so they move to the No. 6 and the Cardinals claim No. 7.
Los Angeles Rams (with Rams win + Saints loss + Seahawks win)
The last possibility involves New Orleans losing to the Panthers on Sunday. If all of the above happens, the Saints will move to the No. 3 seed and play the No. 6 seeded Los Angeles Rams in the Wild Card Weekend of the NFL Playoffs.