Saints finally put together complete game to keep playoff hopes alive

Johnathan Abram, Tyrann Mathieu, New Orleans Saints
Johnathan Abram, Tyrann Mathieu, New Orleans Saints / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints aren't dead yet. With a fairly dominant divisional win on New Year's Eve, there is still a ray of hope in the Saints playoff chances.

Just when you think you're out on the New Orleans Saints for the season, they pull you right back in. The bait that the 2023 Saints cast out to lure and reel in us fishies was a 23-13 victory over the first place Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a game that wasn't exactly as close as the final score would indicate.

In getting the victory, the Saints are now technically tied with the Buccaneers for first place in the NFC South. Next on the menu, is the Atlanta Falcons, who may or may not have thrown in the towel on the season, while the Bucs have the lowly Carolina Panthers in the week 18 finale. Hey look, stranger things have happened. Just look at where we're at currently.

The win certainly had it's uplifting signs, even if it was a little too late in the season. The prime example of this, is when the Saints marched right down the field, eating up a good chunk of clock in the process, and scored their FIRST opening drive touchdown on the season. Yes, the fact that this is even a thing is ridiculous, but hey maybe they're getting hot at the right time, even if there's a chance it won't totally pay off in the end.

The win also seems like it secured Dennis Allen his job, with word going around that he was going to be brought back anyway before the game. The win pretty much solidifies that. Say what you will, but the fact of the matter is the Saints are knocking on the door, and once you get into the tournament all bets are off.

The fact of the matter is the Saints put together a semblance of a complete game with their backs against the wall, in a crucial stretch game against a hated divisional rival that was ahead of them for first place in the division. That, and the fact that Derek Carr played a clean game should be applauded. The end of the regular season roller coaster is approaching, and it'll be interesting to see where the New Orleans Saints end up if this game is any indication.