NFC playoff picture: Saints one win away from home-field advantage

Getty Images

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:

LEADERS
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.

46 responses to “NFC playoff picture: Saints one win away from home-field advantage

  1. I find it ironic that everyone has been slamming Aaron Rodgers for his errant throws this year, yet Drew Brees, Jared Goff, Tom Brady, Carson Wentz, Derek Carr, Matthew Stafford, Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning, Mitch Trubisky, and others miss throws in every game too, and don’t get criticized half as much as Rodgers. I wonder why that is.
    In particular, Brees and Goff have looked very pedestrian lately. Just saying.

  2. The interesting thing is the media is so focused on the Saints offense that they may be missing the story of their defense. They are not allowing teams to score very many points. Brees can have an off night or 2 and they can still grind out wins. When the offense is clicking it’s a runaway victory. No other playoff team is demonstrating that. Sorry Bears fans….don’t get too excited…you aren’t winning the NFC this year.

  3. @ nyneal

    You must have missed the article yesterday from MDS titled “No Starting Quarterback Is Playing Worse Than Jared Goff Right Now.”

    Also, most of the QBs you had listed play on bad teams, e.g. Carr, Stafford, Ryan, and Eli. What’s the point of criticizing them when their teams all stink? Why pour more gasoline on a dumpster fire?

  4. The Bears are better than the Saints. Both Carolina and New Orleans looked ridiculously bad last night. I expected that from Carolina (Cam Newton is terrible), but the Saints were exposed and can be easily beaten by any of the top 8 teams in the NFC or the league for that matter.

  5. nyneal says:
    December 18, 2018 at 6:52 am
    I find it ironic that everyone has been slamming Aaron Rodgers for his errant throws this year, yet Drew Brees, Jared Goff, Tom Brady, Carson Wentz, Derek Carr, Matthew Stafford, Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning, Mitch Trubisky, and others miss throws in every game too, and don’t get criticized half as much as Rodgers. I wonder why that is.
    In particular, Brees and Goff have looked very pedestrian lately. Just saying.

    —————

    Maybe it’s because those other guys didn’t demand to be the highest paid player in NFL history with two years remaining on their existing contracts

  6. I don’t get why everyone is saying the saints are the best. They’re good but the last few weeks haven’t looked great just like every other high powered offense in the league. The Panthers should have won that game the way their defense played. These playoffs will be interesting to watch!

  7. I find it ironic that everyone has been slamming Aaron Rodgers for his errant throws this year, yet Drew Brees, Jared Goff, Tom Brady, Carson Wentz, Derek Carr, Matthew Stafford, Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning, Mitch Trubisky, and others miss throws in every game too, and don’t get criticized half as much as Rodgers. I wonder why that is.
    ——————-
    Because Rodgers sets himself up for criticism by his arrogance and the way he treats his teammates. He carries himself above the team and shows up his young receivers on the field. When you carry yourself the way he does….you invite people to hammer you. The others you mention don’t put that same target on their back.

  8. Let’s go Eagles! Let’s go Redskins! Let’s go Lions! Get up done. Do not let simple luck benefit the undeserving. Get it done.

  9. “As a bear fam, those saints just aren’t looking as unbeatable as most people seemed to think. Pressure bust pipes no matter where the game is played.”

    The Saints Defense will crush the Bears offense.

  10. nyneal says:
    December 18, 2018 at 6:52 am

    I find it ironic that everyone has been slamming Aaron Rodgers for his errant throws this year, yet Drew Brees, Jared Goff, Tom Brady, Carson Wentz, Derek Carr, Matthew Stafford, Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning, Mitch Trubisky, and others miss throws in every game too, and don’t get criticized half as much as Rodgers. I wonder why that is.
    In particular, Brees and Goff have looked very pedestrian lately. Just saying.

    ————————————————————————————–

    That’s because he is decent at best and the entire Packers team is overrated. He has 3-4 years left and just starting to rebuild? If i were you I’d keep polishing those trophies and push back those tears.

  11. Whats concerning to me is our oline. We now have 3rd stringers and rookies starting. I dont like excuses, so we just have to coach up whom we have. Turnovers cost us last game as well as the oline play. Turnovers CAN be fixed, but can this oline get more then Two starters back before the playoffs. ? Can say we suck when we won five in a row haters. No one expected us to win out. In fact all the mighty have fallen recently so i guess everyone sucks. ?

  12. stellarperformance says:
    December 18, 2018 at 8:39 am
    Let’s go Eagles! Let’s go Redskins! Let’s go Lions! Get up done. Do not let simple luck benefit the undeserving. Get it done.
    —-
    I think it great that you found something to cheer for these last few week of the season.

  13. I look forward to the Eagles grabbing the 6th seed, going up to Soldier Field and embarrassing Mitchy Biscuits and the pathetic Bears offense.

  14. Well, at least PFT stopped writing the Vikings “have a chance at the playoffs”, while they have held onto a playoff spot the entire time. Could they get leap frogged? Yes. But that means the other teams “have a chance”, not the Vikings. The Vikings control their own playoff route. Period.

  15. The game against the Steelers is going to be very interesting. I think the Saints’ offense will get back on track against the Steelers but the Steelers would up some points on this Saints’ D.

  16. You admitted to not even watching the game on Sunday. Just go away already.

    calizcowboyz says:
    Whats concerning to me is our oline. We now have 3rd stringers and rookies starting. I dont like excuses, so we just have to coach up whom we have. Turnovers cost us last game as well as the oline play. Turnovers CAN be fixed, but can this oline get more then Two starters back before the playoffs. ? Can say we suck when we won five in a row haters. No one expected us to win out. In fact all the mighty have fallen recently so i guess everyone sucks. ?

  17. boisestatewhodat says:
    December 18, 2018 at 10:25 am
    Saints have the best defense in the NFL…who woulda thought!

    _____________________

    The Bears defense is light years better than the Saints.

  18. nyneal says:
    December 18, 2018 at 6:52 am

    I find it ironic that everyone has been slamming Aaron Rodgers for his errant throws this year, yet Drew Brees, Jared Goff, Tom Brady, Carson Wentz, Derek Carr, Matthew Stafford, Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning, Mitch Trubisky, and others miss throws in every game too, and don’t get criticized half as much as Rodgers. I wonder why that is.
    In particular, Brees and Goff have looked very pedestrian lately. Just saying.
    _______

    Most of those other quarterbacks don’t play for teams that have a chance to win even if the quarterback doesn’t play particularly well. When you’re the highest paid player in the NFL and your team’s game plan every week is for you to play a perfect game, mistakes tend to be magnified.

  19. stellarperformance says:
    December 18, 2018 at 8:39 am

    Let’s go Eagles! Let’s go Redskins! Let’s go Lions! Get up done. Do not let simple luck benefit the undeserving. Get it done.
    __________

    I suppose the Packers’ 5-8-1 record is entirely due to “bad luck.” Maybe instead of finding good players and coaches, you can just find a four-leaf clover.

  20. codylaws says:
    December 18, 2018 at 8:43 am
    The Saints will choke in the playoffs
    ———————-
    So will the Vikings, if they make it……….they ALWAYS do!!!

  21. Saints have the best defense in the NFL. Playoffs will be played in the Superdome. Trust me when I tell you…they won’t be beat in that stadium. No team has scored a single point in the second half against the Saints in a month!

  22. Meh, Bears, Seahawks, Cowboys, and Vikings defenses are all better than the Saints. That being said, Saints defense is damn good, good enough to win it all.

  23. Dear Stellar and NY Neal,
    There must be something wrong with the FiveThirtyEight Playoff Generator. No matter how many scenarios I try, it still won’t put the Packers in the playoffs. We were told that Aaron Rodgers single-handedly would get that done. Yet it appears that for the second straight year, the Pack will finish under .500 and third in the NFC North. What’s up with that?
    Sincerely confused,
    The rest of the NFL

  24. I think Mahomes may have locked up the MVP last night. I was rooting for Brees but I think this late season stretch of ho-hum play may knock him down. If Mahomes closes out with a couple more multi-TD games, the award is his.

  25. stellarperformance says:

    December 18, 2018 at 8:39 am

    Let’s go Eagles! Let’s go Redskins! Let’s go Lions! Get up done. Do not let simple luck benefit the undeserving. Get it done.
    ==================================================

    There isn’t anything in the world more pathetic than a pouting Packers fan.

    Are they still the team to beet in the NFC North?

    You’d think you’d put that cracked crystal ball away, but you’ll be right back here next year making your inane predictions.

    You’d also think that after so many other posters have made you look the fool, you’d stop posting out of shame.

    I digress, you aren’t smart enough to be ashamed of yourself.

  26. Hey, I’m happy my team is still in the mix, even if their chances at playoff success aren’t great. It sure is better than sitting on my hands with nothing better to do than hoping a rival team fails or longingly looking back at history.

  27. Cowboys will luck out only to lose in the wild card round! It doesn’t matter who they draw, they’ll lose!

  28. The Bears defense is light years better than the Saints.
    _______________________________________________________________

    According to the stats as of lately (the last 6 games), no they are not……

  29. ackattack22 says:
    December 18, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    Yet it appears that for the second straight year, the Pack will finish under .500 and third in the NFC North. What’s up with that?
    +++++

    Green Bay has a fairly good shot at finishing 4th and getting that coveted last-place schedule. And I hope they get it, as there appears to be only two blue-chip O-linemen in the upcoming draft.

  30. For anyone that says the Saints will choke in the playoffs, the Saints have not lost at home in the playoffs under Sean Payton. If the Saints win one of the next two games to get home field advantage, they are odds-on favorites to make it to the super bowl from the NFC.

  31. patrickvwashington says:
    December 18, 2018 at 6:51 am
    As a bear fam, those saints just aren’t looking as unbeatable as most people seemed to think. Pressure bust pipes no matter where the game is played.

    ///////////

    Offense wins games no matter where the game is played and the Bears better find one soon – not every week is Green Bay’s defense.

  32. No team has scored a single point in the second half against the Saints in a month!
    ))))))))))))
    You played 2 bad division teams in that period – Bucs and Falcons who already packed it in for the year. And Wentz with a broken back. Stop beating your chest. You have 2 out of 3 weeks where you offense couldn’t score even 14 points. That doesn’t look good for your team. Double Thomas and press coverage because Bress can’t throw deep and you are stuck at 13 again. Some team with score more than 17 on your Saints defense and it will be over.

  33. flexx91 says:
    December 18, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    The Bears defense is light years better than the Saints.
    _______________________________________________________________

    According to the stats as of lately (the last 6 games), no they are not……
    ))))))))))))))))))))))))
    You must not have heard Booger. Stats are like bikini’s they don’t show everything. I will take the Bears defense over the Saints any day of the week. The LA Rams put up 35 on your defense. what did they get on the Bears?

  34. Coveted 4th place schedule? Never heard that before. You do know that’s 2 games, right? Your 3rd place schedule this year got you Washington and Atlanta finishing 1-1. Next year, your choices are niners/Cardinals and Atlanta/Bucs. Thats your silver lining to your season?

  35. Everybody talking about the Saints a very young team and young players who never experienced anything like a playoff run in the NFL.We must look at it these young players are 12-2 who had a tuff schedule running hard for 11 straight wins scoring high, sooner are later they bodies are going to get beat up and tied but they still battling for Home Field Advantage. So with a little rest to their bodies will bring on a change in the playoffs run.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!