The Saints have home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs just about locked up.
After beating the Panthers on Monday night, the Saints only have to win one of their last two games (both at home, against the Steelers and Panthers) to clinch home-field advantage.
The Rams and Bears still have an outside chance of catching the Saints for No. 1 in the conference, but more likely the two are competing with each other for the No. 2 seed.
Here’s how the playoff picture looks after Monday night:
1. Saints (12-2): May end up resting their starters in Week 17.
2. Rams (11-3): Two losses in a row at the wrong time.
3. Bears (10-4): Clinched the NFC North.
4. Cowboys (8-6): Their NFC East lead narrowed by a game.
5. Seahawks (8-6): Sunday’s loss to the 49ers kept them from clinching.
6. Vikings (7-6-1): Put together their best game of the season on Sunday.
OUTSIDE LOOKING IN
7. Eagles (7-7): The defending champs are not going down without a fight.
8. Washington (7-7): Still in the hunt, in both the NFC East and the wild card race.
9. Panthers (6-8): Technically not eliminated from playoff contention, but at this point it’s about a 1,000-to-1 shot.