The New Orleans Saints chances for a NFC playoff first-round bye are still alive. Slim, but alive. Three scenarios are still in play for the Saints to gain the #1 Seed:
- Week 17 - New Orleans Saints (12-3) defeat the Carolina Panthers (5-10);
- Week 17 - Detroit Lions (3-11) defeat the Green Bay Packers (12-3);
- Week 17 - Seattle Seahawks (11-4) defeat the San Francisco 49ers (12-3) on Sunday Night Football and win the NFC West Division.
The Saints lost three NFC conference games to the Rams, Falcons, and 49ers. Those losses have negatively impacted their route to a first-round bye since the Packers and 49ers each have 2 losses in the conference.
The #1 and #2 seeds have become the NFC representatives in the Super Bowl in the past seven years.
Based upon the current NFC Playoff Picture, if the Saints fall to the #3 seed they will face the Minnesota Vikings (#6) in the Wild Card round.
New Orleans can gain the #2 Seed if:
- Week 17: Saints defeat Panthers;
- Week 17: Seahawks defeat 49ers;
- Week 17: Packers defeat Lions. Packers will become the #1 Seed.
New Orleans must win on the road and rely on a banged-up Seahawks team to win at home against a healthier 49ers squad. If San Francisco wins in Seattle, they will earn the #1 Seed and have home-field advantage through the playoffs.
The Saints need help from the Seattle to either become the #1 or #2 Seed for the NFC.
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