How the New Orleans Saints Can Still Make It Into the Postseason

Photo Credit: New Orleans Saints

Currently sitting in 3rd place in the NFC South division with a disappointing 6-8 record, the New Orleans Saints have one of the toughest roads to clinching a playoff berth out of any team still mathematically eligible to advance to the postseason. However, they can still somehow get into the postseason.

Here is a list of all eight things that MUST happen in order for the Saints to get into the postseason.

  • i-26 New Orleans Saints (6-8) over i-24 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-6), Week 16
  • i-20 Minnesota Vikings (7-7) over i-21 Green Bay Packers (8-6), Week 16
  • i-23 Chicago Bears (3-11) over or tied with i-16 Washington Redskins (7-6-1), Week 16
  • i-25 Carolina Panthers (6-8) over i-24 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-6), Week 17
  • i-26 New Orleans Saints (6-8) over i-27 Atlanta Falcons (9-5), Week 17
  • i-18 New York Giants (10-5) over or tied with (cannot tie if a tie happened in the Bears-Redskins game) i-16 Washington Redskins (7-6-1)
  • i-22 Detroit Lions (9-5) over i-21 Green Bay Packers (8-6)
  • i-23 Chicago Bears (3-11) over i-20 Minnesota Vikings (7-7)

 

Should all of this happen, there would be a 4-way tie for the final NFC wild card spot, the #6 seed, between the Saints (8-8), the Buccaneers (8-8), the Vikings (8-8), and the Packers (8-8).

The Saints would initially win the divisional tiebreaker to eliminate the Buccaneers based on best win percentage in common games. The Vikings would initially win the divisional tiebreaker to eliminate the Packers based on head-to-head win percentage. The Saints would then win the tiebreaker over the Vikings based on best win percentage in conference games.

Even if one or both of the Panthers or Redskins finish at 8-8 (Panthers) or 7-7-2 (Redskins), which would happen if the Panthers win both of their remaining games against the Falcons and the Buccaneers and if the Redskins both tie and lose one of each of their remaining games against the Bears and the Giants, the Saints would still win that 5 or 6-way tie for the final NFC wild card spot, as the Saints would initially win a divisional tiebreaker to eliminate the Panthers based on best win percentage in common games, and they would win the tiebreaker over the Redskins based on best win percentage in conference games.

All of this happening would make the Saints playoff-bound for the first time since the 2013 season. The chances that all of these things happen are extremely small, however.

 

-Asher Fair

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