Saints Playoff Scenarios – Week 18

For the Saints to be eligible for the playoffs in the National Football League, the following must take place.

As they enter the final week of the regular season, the New Orleans Saints are still holding out hope that they will be able to make it to the postseason. A victory on the road against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by a score of 23-13 on Sunday brought the Saints’ record to an even 8-8. In addition to this, it maintained the possibility of New Orleans qualifying for the playoffs for the first time since the 2020-21 season, maintaining two distinct possibilities.

Next Sunday, the Saints will have to defeat the Atlanta Falcons, who have a record of 7-9. As a result of the loss, they will be forced to watch postseason games from the comfort of their own home for the third year in a row. Even if New Orleans is victorious over Atlanta, a team that they were defeated by in Week 12, they will still require some additional assistance to prolong their season.
There is a possibility that the Saints will end up winning the NFC South championship against the other teams. Another possible outcome is that New Orleans would be selected as the winner of the last NFC wild-card spot.

SITUATION NO. 1

The fourth seed of the NFC South Champion
Saints Playoff Scenarios – Week 18

• Saints beat Falcons

• Buccaneers lose at Carolina Panthers

This is the most ideal outcome for the Saints. It would mean a home playoff game in the first round, though it would be against either the Dallas Cowboys or Philadelphia Eagles. This also means that New Orleans fate would not be affected by any other game other than their own and Bucs-Panthers.

Regrettably, the Saints require a defeat at the hands of a Carolina team that is 2-14 in order to win. On the plus side, the Panthers have recently competed in a number of games that were extremely close. This included a defeat at the hands of Tampa Bay by a marginal margin of 21-18 at the beginning of December.

If both the Saints and the Buccaneers were to win, the final score for each team would be 9-8. Nevertheless, Tampa Bay would emerge victorious in the NFC South if they had a better record than New Orleans against teams that they play against frequently and a better record in games played within the league. The Atlanta Falcons would win the division with a record of 8-9 if both the Saints and the Buccaneers were to suffer defeats. This is due to the fact that the Falcons have a better record versus opposing clubs that they face in common. Only in the event that New Orleans prevails over Atlanta and Tampa Bay triumphs over the Panthers would this scenario be applicable. The Saints would still have a remote possibility of securing the final wild-card berth, but they would require a great deal of assistance.

 

It would be necessary for Seattle, who is currently 8-8, to suffer a loss at the hands of the Cardinals, who are 4-12. The Arizona Cardinals have shown glimpses of explosiveness ever since quarterback Kyler Murray returned to the team. They are coming off of a road victory over Philadelphia. Should both the Seahawks and the Saints emerge victorious and finish with a record of 9-8, the Seahawks would emerge victorious in the tiebreaker due to their superior conference record.

Saints Playoff Scenarios – Week 18

At Chicago, Green Bay, which is also 8-8, must suffer a loss. Four of the Bears’ most recent five games have been in victories, and during the second half of the season, they have given every opponent a challenging game to play. But in addition to that, they have been defeated by the Packers in nine consecutive games, including the first game of the season this year. To put that into perspective, Chicago has a record of only 4-26 against the Packers dating back to the 2009 season. Over the course of their last 14 home matches versus Green Bay, they have suffered 13 defeats.
In the third week of the season, New Orleans triumphed against the Packers at Green Bay with a 17-0 advantage in the fourth quarter. Blake Grupe, the kicker for the Saints, missed a field goal from 46 yards out in the final minute, which allowed the Packers to win the game 18-17. The Packers would go on to score 18 unanswered points over the course of the final 13 minutes. If both of these teams end up with 9-8 records, Green Bay will have the lead in the tiebreaker thanks to their victory in the head-to-head matchup.

In the extremely rare event that this scenario comes to pass, the Saints would be heading out on the road for the opening round of the playoffs. It is highly likely that they would attend the game of the NFC East champion, which could be either Dallas or Philadelphia. In the event that the Detroit Lions are able to secure the second seed, they would be in a position to play host to the seventh seed of the National Football Conference in the first round.

On Sunday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers faced a straightforward scenario: they needed to win in order to qualify for the postseason.

But the Saints had other plans in mind. With a 20-0 lead at the beginning of the game, New Orleans was able to maintain their position as the NFC South division champions and maintain their own playoff aspirations by claiming a 23-13 victory over the Buccaneers.
When the Saints on the field on Sunday, they played like if they were a team that had something to play for. The first possession of the game was led by Derek Carr, who led a drive that spanned 14 plays and 73 yards. The drive culminated with a touchdown pass to tight end Juwan Johnson that went for 4 yards.

During a drive in the second quarter, Carr connected with Taysom Hill for a touchdown that went for 22 yards, extending the lead to 14-0.

The defense of New Orleans, on the other hand, was responsible for three three-and-outs and one interception of Baker Mayfield during the four first-half possessions of the Buccaneers. Fortunately, Tampa Bay was able to kneel the ball and thus conclude a first half in which the Saints had a 17-0 lead.

In the fourth quarter, the Buccaneers scored their first touchdown thanks to a touchdown pass from quarterback Baker Mayfield to wide receiver Trey Palmer. With 1 minute and 37 seconds left, they added another touchdown by way of a ball from Mayfield to Chris Godwin that covered 47 yards.

Saints Playoff Scenarios – Week 18

However, too little, too late was the case. Both the subsequent effort to convert a two-point conversion and the onside kick were unsuccessful, which allowed the Saints to run out the time.

At the same time that Carr led a consistent Saints offense that scored 23 points and did not turn the ball over, a swarming Saints defense forced four turnovers from the Buccaneers, including two interceptions from Mayfield. Carr finished the day with a completion percentage of 24 out of 32, a receiver rating of 197 yards, and two touchdowns. The Buccaneers were forced to forsake the run in their attempt to make a comeback, which resulted in the Saints gaining 108 yards on the ground to the Buccaneers’ 57 yards.

Mayfield completed 22 of 33 passes for 309 yards with two touchdowns and the two interceptions. Palmer and running back Rachaad White each turned the ball over on fumbles. Playing with a lead, the Saints controlled the ball and dominated time of possession 36:38-23:22.

The win leaves the Saints still in need of significant help to make the postseason. They’re depending on the Bucs to lose to an NFL-worst 2-14 Panthers team that just lost 26-0 to the Jacksonville Jaguars. That said, they gave themselves a chance Sunday while forcing Tampa Bay to keep its foot on the gas in its regular-season finale.

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