For the rest of the country it was probably a snooze fest. Here though, it was high drama football. In the end, the Saints saved their season by beating the buck out the Buccaneers 9-0 last Sunday.

They not only shut the Bucs out. But they also knocked 3 of their starters out of the game, along with a Microsoft Surface pad. Now at 7-7, if they’re going to make the playoffs, they have to win the last three games of the season, and get some help.

Wild Card Scenario

Record-wise, the Saints are in a three-way tie with the Eagles and Vikings for the last playoff spot. If they all win-out, the Saints wouldn’t make it due to an inferior conference record.

But the Vikings are going to fade. They have upcoming games against the Rams and Packers. They’ll probably lose both and eliminate themselves from contention.

The Eagles, on the other hand, play Washington, the Giants, then the Cowboys. They just beat Washington two days ago. But that game was in Philly. And Washington’s starting QB was out because of COVID. The worst case scenario is that the Eagles win the next two. And the Saints are stuck hoping the Cowboys beat the Eagles the last game of the season.

All of this depends on the Saints actually winning their last three games. On paper, it’s doable. The Dolphins come into the Dome on Monday night on a 6 game winning streak. But only one of those 6 has been against a team with a winning record. After that, Carolina is on deck.

Carolina is a terrible team. And Cam Newton is playing awful football. On top of that, their coach has been cut-throat with his assistants. All this has lead to them losing 4 straight games. Then it’s the Falcons on the road.

Technically the Saints have an easier schedule than the Eagles. But in real games the Saints can’t score any points. They’re somehow averaging 22 points a game. But in the last month, they’ve only scored over 20 points once. And in the three games before that, they got off to slow starts and only scored a total of two touchdowns in the first halves.

Strength of Schedule

With that anemic offense  don’t expect any of these games to be easy. All will most likely be 4 quarter games where the defense has to play mistake free football for the Saints to have a chance. The toughest of course will come on the road against the Falcons. The Falcons would definitely love to send the Saints packing.

There are two other unlikely scenarios that could help the Saints. Right now the 49ers are 8-6, holding on to the 6th playoff spot. They have two tough games on paper. One of them is against the Titans. And the other is against the Rams. But the Titans’ offense has dried up without Derek Henry. And the 49ers have beaten the Rams the last 5 times they’ve played.

The other scenario involves the Cardinals. The Cardinals are 10-4 and leading their division. But they are falling apart. The Rams beat them at home the week before last. Detroit just blew them out. And with games against the Colts and Cowboys coming up, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them lose two more. Their last game is against Seattle though. Given how sad Seattle has been, who knows how that will go.

Scenarios aside, all the Saints can do at this point is take care of their end. It all starts Monday night two days after Christmas. Expect the crowd to be in full throated Who Dat.

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