How the New Orleans Saints can make the playoffs

It won’t be easy but there is a way for the New Orleans Saints to get into the playoffs, either by winning their division or winning a Wild Card.

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The New Orleans Saints, at 6-9 on the season, are not eliminated from the making the playoffs. They actually can make it into the postseason still in one of two ways: winning their division or winning a Wild Card. The former is the least complicated way of the two, however, neither is very probable as Sunday of Week 17 approaches.

How New Orleans can win their division: tie independent

In order to win their division, New Orleans would need two wins in the last two weeks of the season. They need to win at Philadelphia this week, which could be a nightmare, and then the Saints would need to beat Carolina in the final week of the season. That said if New Orleans did those things they would still need other results to go their way.

The Saints, in a nutshell, would need Tampa Bay to go 0-2 for the balance of the season. Since Carolina plays TB and New Orleans, the Saints going 2-0 and the Bucs going 0-2 would force the results needed from Carolina.

How the Saints can win a Wild Card still: tie independent

In order for the Saints to get a Wild Card they would need to win out and not win their division. If they went 2-0 for the balance of the season and the Buccaneers won a game, then that would prevent the Saints from winning their division. New Orleans would be 8-9 with slim hopes that the record would qualify them for a Wild Card.

In this case, things start to get really complicated. But New Orleans’ backers want Seattle to lose a game in the final two weeks, the Commanders to go 0-2, and then 8-9 to win on tiebreakers against other 8-9 teams. This would work, although there may be other scenarios:

  • New Orleans goes 2-0
  • Tampa Bay goes 1-1 or 2-0
  • Commanders go 0-2
  • Seattle goes 1-1 or 0-2
  • Detroit loses to Chicago in Week 17
  • Green Bay loses to Detroit in Week 18
  • Detroit beats Green Bay in Week 18

In other words, good luck to New Orleans (they’ll need it!).

Source: NFL playoff calculator