Saints clinch NFC South, 11 playoff spots to go

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The New Orleans Saints are the champions of the NFC South after their Thanksgiving victory over the Falcons. Eleven more playoff spots await.

The Bills’ victory over the Cowboys makes 9-3 Buffalo a near-lock to earn an AFC wild card berth. The Bills have almost no chance of catching 10-1 New England in the AFC East, but the other AFC wild card contenders — the Steelers, Raiders, Colts, Titans and Browns — all have almost no chance of catching the Bills. And remember, two of those teams would have to pass the Bills in the standings to knock Buffalo out of the playoffs.

With the 6-6 Cowboys losing, they and the 5-6 Eagles are locked in a close NFC East race. They meet in December in Philadelphia in a very big game.

The AFC South remains a close race, with the winner of Sunday’s game between the 6-5 Titans and 6-5 Colts likely to battle the 7-4 Texans down to the wire.

In the AFC West, the 6-5 Raiders likely need to upset the 7-4 Chiefs in Kansas City on Sunday. If the Chiefs win that game they’ll have a two-game lead in the division and the tiebreaker advantage.

The 9-2 Ravens have the AFC North basically locked up and are hoping to win out and catch the Patriots for home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. On Sunday Baltimore hosts the 10-1 49ers, who currently sit atop the NFC but are only a game ahead of the 9-2 Seahawks, who are the leaders in the wild card race. Whoever doesn’t win the NFC West between the 49ers and Seahawks will be a very good wild card team and likely a road favorite over the Cowboys or Eagles in the first round of the playoffs.

The 8-3 Packers currently own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the 8-3 Vikings in the NFC North, but those teams meet again in Minnesota in Week 16.

The long shots in the NFC are the 6-5 Rams and 6-6 Bears, whose Thanksgiving win was probably too little, too late to get into a crowded playoff field.

15 responses to “Saints clinch NFC South, 11 playoff spots to go

  1. Raiders sitting at 20% chance according to the New York Times playoff simulator.

    Or slightly better than a roll of the dice.

  2. I’m a Patriots fan, but to assume because the Bills are 1.5 games back that they “have almost no chance of winning the division”… people need to stop with those attitudes that assume it’s over just because a team is leading. Yes this is the Patriots but we’ve seen them get upset by the Giants on their 16-0 season. We’ve seen 28-3 and other unbelievable sporting moments. The Bills have one more matchup with the Patriots, upsetting the Patriots and getting a tiebreaker or then winning one more game down the stretch than them is not very unbelievable at this point. I’d like to think it won’t happen but to say there’s “almost no chance” is an absurdly ridiculous take. I had to do a double take to make sure that was what had actually been written.

  3. If the Bills didn’t have to play the Ravens and the Patriots down the stretch, it would be more plausible. The Pats are good closers in December.

    However, if the Bills upset the Ravens and the Pats lose to Houston or KC or both, it could get interesting. The Pats have only 2 guaranteed wins left (Bengals and Dolphins).

  4. Your example is poor. “Upset by the Giants in their 16-0. Seaaon? Not exactly they lost in the superbowl.

    They BEAT the giants earlier that season.

  5. As a Bill’s fan, I would say they have NO CHANCE of winning of the AFC East. Not only would the Pats have to lose 2 more games, but the Bills would also have go 5-0. Sure they are still mathematically alive, but at most it is a 5 percent chance. I am just happy to have meaningful football this late in the season.

  6. Well done Saint’s! I like Drew but in large part you all owe Teddy a huge thank you as well. Would love to see a Vike vs Saint playoff game. Win or lose it would make for a complete season for me.


  7. 2ruefan says:
    November 29, 2019 at 9:52 am

    Your example is poor. “Upset by the Giants in their 16-0. Seaaon? Not exactly they lost in the superbowl.

    They BEAT the giants earlier that season.”

    They barely beat the Giants in the regular season. Pats got a defensive holding call and the Giants didn’t. Refs win again.

  8. Pats FINALLY have ONE decent team in their division and then the AFC completely implodes. Of course. Lmao

  9. There is alot of football left, and crazy things will continue to happen, but it will be interesting to see if Brees, Wilson or Rodgers could find away to help their teams get their second Championship, though Brady and the Pats, will try to get his seventh.

    It’s about the teams of course but could a young QB like Mahomes, Jackson, Garrapolo, Allen, or Watson find away to deny these veteran QBs ?

    Prescott, Wentz and Cousins have outside chances as well, but their teams have to get going now, because despite the Vikes record, Cousins still hasn’t won big games yet.

  10. Pats, Ravens and Bills might as well be pencilled in at their current spots. Pats vs Bills is the key matchup because the Bills still have a chance to catch up.

  11. Why is this a Steelers’ story? This is about the playoffs not the race to the No. 1 pick. Oh wait, the Steelers gave up all their picks.

  12. LA Lambs deserve to NOT make the playoffs, especially after they were gifted a Super Bowl berth last year and then proceeded to stink up the joint…..

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