How Can The Saints Get #1-Seed?
How likely is it that the New Orleans Saints will end up as the top-seed when the NFC Playoffs begin?
Well, considering they currently still need some help to accomplish that, their chances are pretty realistic.
Let's break it down.
Right now, the Saints lead the NFC South (already clinched the division), the Packers lead the NFC North, and the Seahawks and 49ers are tied for first place in the NFC West, all with identical 11-3 records.
If the playoffs were to start today, the Seahawks would be the top-seed, with the Packers at number two, and the Saints would be the third-seed, meaning they would not draw a first-round bye.
The reason the Saints would be the #3-seed would be due to the fact that they would be in a three-way tie with the Seahawks and Packers, and in the event of a three-way tie, the first tiebreaker is conference record.
That's not good for New Orleans, as all three of their losses came in conference play, as opposed to Seattle and Green Bay, who have only two conference losses each.
That's the bad news.
The good news is that the Saints have a pretty decent chance to stil secure the top-seed.
First, obviously, for the Saints to get the top-seed, they have to win their two remaining games; Sunday on the road against the Titans, and the final week, at home against the Panthers.
New Orleans is a 2-point road favorite this Sunday, and they'll obviously be favored against the Panthers.
That's the first order of business; take care of your own.
Another thing the Saints need to happen is have the Packers lose one of their final two games, either this Monday night, on the road against the Vikings, or in Week 17, against the Lions.
On Monday night, the Packers are 5-point underdogs, playing in a building in which they've never won before.
The final thing the Saints would need to happen would be for the 49ers to lose one of their final two games, either at home on Saturday against the Rams, or in Week 17, when they take on the Seahawks.
The bottom line for Saints fans; you want the Seahawks to win, as the Saints hold a head-to-head win over them.
So, if the 49ers do defeat the Rams on Saturday, the Saints would need the Seahawks to win in Week 17, in a game they'll likely be favored.
To make it much more simplistic; Saints need to win their remaining games, the Packers need to lose to the Vikings, and the Seahawks need to beat the 49ers in Week 17.
Not automatic, by any means, but also not like asking Slippery Rock to beat Alabama either.
The Saints still have a reasonable shot at securing the #1-seed in the NFC Playoffs, but a lot can, and probably will happen over the final two weeks.