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NFL playoff picture: What does Saints-Browns mean for NFC and AFC standings

The Saints face the Browns in Cleveland on Saturday. We break down what the game means for the NFL playoff picture.

A general view of FirstEnergy Stadium prior to the National Football League game between the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns on September 18, 2022, at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, OH. Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Results update: The Browns have been eliminated from the playoffs with a 17-10 loss to the Saints.

The New Orleans Saints and Cleveland Browns face off on Christmas Eve in a must-win game for both teams. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. ET at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, and the Browns are a field goal favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Saints playoff picture

New Orleans is 5-9 and still firmly in the thick of the NFC South race. They’re tied with the Panthers and Falcons sitting a game back of the Bucs. The Saints have the tiebreaker edge over the Falcons due to a head-to-head sweep, while the Panthers have the tiebreaker edge having won the first game between those two.

If the Saints lose, they would be eliminated from playoff contention by a Bucs win. If the Saints win, they could move into a tie for first with the Bucs if Tampa loses to Arizona on Sunday. The Bucs would have the tiebreaker edge having swept their season series.

Browns playoff picture

Cleveland is 6-8 and sits two games back of the Chargers and Dolphins for the final two wild card berths. The Patriots, Jaguars, Jets, and Raiders all sit in front of the Browns in the standings. Cleveland would be eliminated from playoff contention with a loss or a variety of scenarios where they tie or even win.

Tiebreaker implications

tiebreaker info: