The Who Dat Nation has fans with the biggest hearts in the National Football League. Loyal, passionate, and praying for a miracle! Remember, these residents have persevered through hurricanes, floodings, and numerous heartbreaks from the New Orleans Saints over the years.
Well, it's the holiday season, and we're spreading statistical hope for Saints fans and the team's playoff dreams.
My SNN colleague Bob Rose says the Saints are playing in the "Woeful" and "Incredibly Dreadful" NFC South. Well, he had a few other choice words, but we can't print them here.
Five games remain in the 2022-23 NFL season for the boys in black and gold. Could the Saints run the table in the next five against Tampa Bay, Atlanta, Cleveland, Philadelphia, and Carolina? If so, how would their chances look statistically, according to FiveThirtyEight.com and the New York Times Playoff simulator?
New Orleans is 4-8 and is considered the "bottom-feeder" in the NFC South:
- FiveThirtyEight predicts an 8% chance for the Saints' making the playoff and winning the division.
- The NY Times model has them at 8% for the playoffs and 7% for the NFC South title. New Orleans fell from 13% to 8% over the past five games.
- They have less than a 1% hope of earning a first-round bye and the Super Bowl.
Against the NFC:
A loss to an NFC South opponent will immediately eliminate the Saints from playoff contention.
- (7-8) - If the Saints defeat their NFC South foes down the stretch and lose to Philadelphia and Cleveland = 26% for the playoff and division.
- (8-9) - Beat Philadelphia, but lose to Cleveland = 67% playoff, 61% division, 0.6% Super Bowl.
- (8-9) - If they lose to Philadelphia and defeat Cleveland = 66% playoff, 61% division, and 0.5% Super Bowl.
- (8-9) - Losing to Atlanta and winning the remaining four games = 29% playoff, 21% division, and 0.2% Super Bowl.
- (8-9) - Losing to Carolina and winning the remaining four games = 46% playoff, 39% division, and 0.4% Super Bowl.
- (8-9) - Losing to Tampa and winning the remaining four games = 24%, 14% division, and 0.2% Super Bowl.
- (9-8) New Orleans will have a 94% chance of the playoff and an 83% opportunity to win the NFC South. Plus, the Super Bowl hopes will rise to 2%.
The Saints control their destiny with a streak of wins. The likelihood of a Cleveland or Philadelphia loss could hurt, but not as much as losing another NFC South game.
Could the Saints do the unthinkable?
We shall see.