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Saints and the NFC Playoff Picture: Week 18

The Saints and 49ers are battling things out for the final spot in the NFC Playoff race, and they'll both have their hands full in Week 18.

It's absolutely crazy to think that the Saints are in a position to be in the playoffs after everything that has transpired this season, but here we are. We're down to one week in the NFL, and Week 18 has plenty of matchups that will be given a lot of attention. The NFC Playoff field is nearly set, while the AFC seeding is a lot more entertaining.

Here's how things look for the NFC Playoffs going into the weekend.

If the NFC Playoffs started today...

  1. Packers (13-3)
  2. Rams (12-4)
  3. Buccaneers (12-4)
  4. Cowboys (11-5)
  5. Cardinals (11-5)
  6. 49ers (9-7)
  7. Eagles (9-7)

In the Hunt

  • Saints (8-8)

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  • Vikings (7-9)
  • Falcons (7-9)
  • Washington (6-10)
  • Bears (6-10)
  • Seahawks (6-10)
  • Panthers (5-11)
  • Giants (4-12)
  • Lions (2-13-1)

Relevant Seeding Explained: The Packers have clinched home field advantage throughout the playoffs and will be the top seed in the NFC, and all the other teams except the 49ers have clinched a playoff spot. The only divisional winner that hasn't been decided is in the NFC West, with both the Rams and Cardinals trying to lock it up.

The Final Spot - What Needs to Happen: It comes down to the 49ers and Saints for the final spot in the postseason, and these two teams play in the same time slot on Sunday. The 3:25 p.m. CT kickoff will see both teams on the road, with the Saints taking on the Falcons while the 49ers take on the Rams.

Quite simply put, the Saints have to win and hope that the 49ers lose. Assuming that happens, then New Orleans would get in as the 7th seed and would travel to play the Rams during Wild Card Weekend. That's the only team they can meet in the postseason.

Panthers-Saints Coverage