Saints Playoff Picture: New Orleans has to win final 2 games

New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

After falling by a score of 20-3 to the Miami Dolphins, the New Orleans Saints continue to slide down the playoff standings. They’re now three spots out of the playoffs and are in a situation where they have to win their final two games to have any kind of shot at playing past Jan. 9.

The Buccaneers clinched the NFC South this weekend so if the Saints do get in, it’ll be as a Wild Card team.

With all of that in mind, let’s check out the NFC playoff standings.

NFC Playoff Picture — Where do the Saints sit entering Week 17?

  1. Green Bay Packers (12-3)
  2. Dallas Cowboys (11-4)
  3. Los Angeles Rams (11-4)
  4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11-4)
  5. Arizona Cardinals (10-5)
  6. San Francisco 49ers (8-7)
  7. Philadelphia Eagles (8-7)

IN THE HUNT: Minnesota Vikings (7-8), Atlanta Falcons (7-8), New Orleans Saints (7-8), Washington Football Team (6-9)

It’s pretty pathetic that a 6-9 team is still in the running to make it into the postseason but hey — It’s been a crazy season of football.

Anyway, if the season ended today, the Saints would not be in the playoffs. They’d be watching Wild Card weekend at home while the Cowboys hosted the Eagles, the Rams hosted the 49ers, and the Buccaneers hosted the Cardinals.

The Rams overtook the NFC West from Arizona after the Cardinals slipped up. They seemed unstoppable a month ago and now don’t look menacing at all.

Green Bay has the top seed and the first-round BYE that comes with it as of now but can they hold onto it in these final two weeks? The Cowboys, Rams, and Bucs are just one game behind and any of them could wiggle their way into that top spot as we inch closer to the end of the season.

For the Saints to get in, however, they can’t lose to the Panthers on Sunday. If they do, their chances at the postseason should be all but dashed. The Falcons sitting ahead of them isn’t a good sign either, as that will be their Week 18 opponent. Atlanta could singlehandedly keep New Orleans out of the playoffs if they win in the season finale.

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Even if the Saints did get into the postseason, it’s hard to see them doing much damage. Their offense has scored a total of 12 points in the past two games combined and while the defense is good, that wouldn’t be enough to get them a playoff win.