December 11, 2011

Saints Clinch Playoff Birth

The Saints have clinched a playoff birth on the back of Tim Tebow's latest weekly miraculous comeback.  Denver beat Chicago in overtime despite training 10-0 with just over two minutes left.

New Orleans at least has a wildcard spot locked up, and could clinch the NFC South and a home playoff game next week with a victory in Minnesota plus an Atlanta loss at home to Jacksonville.

With three playoff appearances in a row, these Saints have accomplished the feat for only the second time in team history.  The 1990, 1991, and 1992 Saints made the playoffs, but found no postseason victories.

Thanks to Arizona, the Saints are now tied with 10-3 49ers, but San Francisco maintains an advantage in conference win percentage, a tiebreaker the Saints are unlikely to win.  San Francisco is 8-2 vs. NFC opponents with divisional rivals 2-10 St. Louis and 5-7 Seattle remaining as in-conference opponents.

The Saints are 6-3 against the NFC with all three remaining opponents in-conference: 2-11 Minnesota, 8-5 Atlanta and 4-9 Carolina.

The Saints need to win out and have San Francisco lose one more game (next week at home vs Pittsburgh?) in order to capture the #2 NFC playoff seed and a first round bye, otherwise they will be fighting with the NFC East winner for the #3 seed.

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