The New Orleans Saints sit in third place in the NFC South, but Week 17 brings a huge opportunity to climb up the standings. They travel to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a chance to move into a tie for first. They cannot claim the tiebreaker with either the Bucs or the Atlanta Falcons, but they can put themselves in a much better position if they beat the Bucs.
The Saints will be looking for some help this weekend as they face the Bucs as field goal underdogs at DraftKings Sportsbook. If you’re a Saints fan, here are the games you’ll be paying attention to.
Result: The Saints impressed on the road, beating the Bucs 23-13. They move into a tie for first but need a win and a Bucs loss in Week 18 to win the division.
Falcons vs. Bears
Result: The Bears crushed the Falcons 37-17.
New Orleans and Atlanta are tied at 7-8 and face off in Week 18. The Saints have to win out and that would include a win over the Falcons. That means this result has no impact on the Saints playoff chances. But we know Saints fans will always root against the Falcons.
Atlanta is a field goal underdog.
Rams vs. Giants
Steelers vs. Seahawks
Result: The Rams held off the Giants 26-25 to move a step closer to securing a wild card berth. The Seahawks lost to the Steelers to drop to 8-8.
LA and Seattle are both 8-7 and hold the second and third wild card berths. The Rams hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Saints, so New Orleans needs them to lose both of their remaining games. The Saints and Seahawks did not meet this season and right now Seattle has a 1.5-game lead in the conference record tiebreaker. The Saints need the Seahawks to lose in Week 18 to give them a chance to match the conference record tiebreaker, so in reality this game likely has no impact outside of unexpected tiebreakers down the chain.
Vikings vs. Packers
New Orleans is tied with both teams, but lost the head-to-head with each. Week 18 will see the Vikings travel to face the Lions and the Packers hosting the Bears. The former seems more likely to lose than the latter in those Week 18 matchups, so they’ll root for the Vikings in this game.
Minnesota is a 1.5-point favorite for this Sunday Night Football matchup.