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New Orleans Saints playoff scenarios: Help needed for NFL playoffs bye

Sean Payton Saints
Head Coach Sean Payton needs to have his team ready for Monday Night Football. Pic credit: New Orleans Saints

The New Orleans Saints’ playoff scenarios have the team in need of some help due to the updated NFL playoff standings. In order for the Saints to secure a first-round bye, they may also need to win their last three regular-season games.

Ahead of the game on Monday Night Football, the Saints are 10-3 and holding down first place in the NFC South. The Saints have already clinched their division and at least one home game in the playoffs, but the team would love to avoid playing on Wild Card weekend.

The bad news for Saints fans is that the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers won again over the weekend, keeping the Saints down at the No. 3 seed in the NFC playoffs. The good news is that there is still time to move up.

New Orleans Saints playoff scenarios

In a best-case scenario for the Saints, the Packers would lose one of their final two regular-season games. They play the Minnesota Vikings in Week 16 and then finish off the season against the Detroit Lions.

If the Saints win-out and the Packers lose just one more game, then it will be the Saints locking up the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs. This is because the Saints own a head-to-head tiebreaker with the Seahawks after beating them earlier this season.

A three-way tie is not something that the Saints want atop the NFC playoff standings. If the three-team tiebreakers come in to play, the Saints lose out, keeping them down at the No. 3 seed and giving the Seahawks and Packers the first-round byes.

If the Saints win-out over the Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, and Carolina Panthers, and the Seahawks lose to the Arizona Cardinals or San Francisco 49ers during the regular season, then the Saints finish with at least the No. 2 seed in the NFC. That would at least give them a bye, even if the Packers win their final two games.

No matter what, the Saints will have at least one home playoff game in the postseason. To take steps toward a bye, the Saints do need some help, but first, they need to take care of business against the Colts on Monday night.

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