Saints News: Playoff odds, Juwan Johnson, and closing out the season strong

Dec 18, 2022; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA;  New Orleans Saints tight end Juwan Johnson (83) dives in
Dec 18, 2022; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints tight end Juwan Johnson (83) dives in / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Saints news revolves around if the New Orleans Saints can realistically make the playoffs despite sitting with a 5-9 record. Juwan Johnson is also a big part of Saints news right now after he continues to perform like a TE1.

The Saints took care of business against the Falcons on Sunday, sweeping their NFC South foes and remaining behind the Buccaneers in the division and the playoff picture. At this point, it wouldn't be fun watching any of the NFC South teams host a playoff game but the rules are the rules -- Whoever wins the division is hosting a playoff game over Wild Card weekend, even with a losing record.

A big reason for why the Saints were able to knock off the Falcons on Sunday is that Juwan Johnson has continued to transform into a legitimate tight end. He had two touchdowns on Sunday, including the impressive one he had on the first drive where he bulldozed his way in and then reached the ball across the pylon to ensure he got the six points.

Here's what's trending in Saints news from around the web.

One game apart: Here's a breakdown of the chaotic NFC South heading into the playoffs [Katherine Terrell, ESPN]

Terrell details how each team can win the pathetic NFC South. Here's how she said the Saints could do so.

"The Saints could make the playoffs at 7-10 (as long as they beat the Panthers). They would need the Buccaneers to lose their final three games, the Panthers to lose to the Lions and the Falcons to lose to either the Ravens or the Cardinals."

Katherine Terrell

The Saints only need seven wins to make the postseason but the Bucs would have to lose their final three games for that to happen while the Panthers and Falcons would need to lose games as well. NOLA just needs to focus on winning out and not paying attention to what the other three teams are doing.

Juwan Johnson, Chris Olave, Rashid Shaheed shine bright light on Saints' future [Rod Walker,]

Things might be bleak with the Saints right now but the team has some pieces to be excited about. Walker discusses those players in key detail, with the highlights being Johnson, Shaheed, and Olave. Once this team finds a capable quarterback, the Saints offense will be lethal.

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Who will win wide-open NFC South race? Making a case for still-alive Falcons, Panthers, Saints, Bucs [Jim Trotter,]

People certainly aren't talking about the NFC South for any good reason and Trotter's post is proof of that. He definitely pokes fun at the four teams who are battling not to win the division but he delves into how each team can get to the playoffs and what we can expect from them in their final three games.

"However, the Saints are due for a run considering they’re the only team in the division that has yet to record back-to-back wins. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. "

Jim Trotter