Sunday PM update: The Saints beat the Falcons, but the 49ers win over LA knocked New Orleans out of the playoffs.
Saturday update: The Cowboys beat the Eagles. This has no impact on the Saints. They need a win and a 49ers loss to claim a playoff spot. The Saints can only be the No. 7 seed.
The New Orleans Saints are still in the running for a playoff spot heading into Week 18. They take on their NFC South divisional rival Atlanta Falcons needing a win to have a shot at sneaking into the playoffs. They can clinch the No. 7 seed in the NFC playoffs with a win and a loss by the San Francisco 49ers.
The 8-8 Saints got back into the win column in Week 17 with a victory over the Carolina Panthers. After a long losing streak from Week 9 to Week 13, the Saints have won three of their last four games. The Falcons have gone 2-3 in their last five games with their most recent outing being a 29-15 loss against the Buffalo Bills. When these teams met in Week 9, it was the Falcons that came away with a 27-25 win.
The Saints had won the NFC South in each of the last four seasons prior to this one. In 2020, they beat the Chicago Bears in the Wild Card game but lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Divisional round. They last made the NFC Championship game in 2018 but lost to the Los Angeles Rams.
Relevant games impacting seeding for the Saints include:
Saints @ Falcons
49ers @ Rams
All seeding possibilities are broken down through NFLPlayoffScenarios.com.
How they can be No. 7 seed
- Saints win + 49ers loss
How they can be eliminated from playoff contention
- Saints loss/tie, OR
- 49ers win/tie