Like the leaves changing colors and Christmas decorations sprouting up at department stores, one of the annual reminders that fall is turning to winter comes when the NFL starts distributing playoff scenarios.
That happened today, when the NFL sent out a notice that the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints could both clinch their divisions in Week 12.
The Colts will clinch the AFC South if they beat the Texans and the Jaguars lose to the 49ers on Sunday.
The Saints will clinch the NFC South if they beat the Patriots next Monday and the Falcons lose or tie against the Buccaneers — or if the Saints and Patriots tie and the Falcons lose.
These playoff scenarios may not ultimately mean a whole lot, as the 10-0 Colts and Saints are both locks to win their divisions even if they don’t clinch in Week 12. But the mere fact that they could do it during the coming week is a reminder that the season is reaching the home stretch.