Even though their loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday just about put an end to their chances of winning the NFC South, the Saints are currently in a good position to make the playoffs as a wild card team in 2010.
All that it will take for the Saints to clinch a playoff spot for 2010 is for them to win or tie at Atlanta on “Monday Night Football” or for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to lose or tie to the Seahawks in Florida on Sunday. The Saints chances of winning the South are basically over, as all that the Atlanta Falcons have to do is win or tie against the Saints on Monday and they will not only win the NFC South, but also homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.
While making the playoffs as a wild card team is still nice, the Saints need to be focused on winning out and claiming the number five seed for the playoffs, which will feature a much more favorable matchup than the NFC’s sixth seed will get. If the Saints get the fifth seed, they will have to play on the road for their first playoff game, but will have to play at the winner of the woeful NFC West. Whichever team comes out of that division will have a record no better than 8-8. On the flip side, if the Saints were to somehow slip and get the sixth seed, they will likely have to play in either Philadelphia or Chicago to start the postseason, which would not be preferred.
With the slipups of the Buccaneers and Packers, who both carry records of 8-6, the Saints look pretty good to make the playoffs. They must finish strong to end the season, however, in order to make sure they get the invitation to the postseason, and also have the most favorable matchups come playoff time.