Saints playoff picture: Breaking down New Orleans’ seeding scenarios in NFL bracket

The Saints (11-4) need a win and some help to get the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs after winning the NFC South for a fourth consecutive season. The Saints go into Sunday’s Week 17 2020 regular-season finale at the Panthers as the No. 2, trailing the Packers (12-3) by one game and tied with the No  3 Seahawks (11-4).

The Saints are ahead of the Seahawks, whom they didn’t play, with the superior record in conference play, 9-2 vs. 8-3. Here’s how the Saints can finish anywhere from No. 1 to No. 3 based on Sunday’s results:

How the Saints would earn the No. 1 NFC playoff seed

The Saints first need to beat the Panthers to get to 12-4. Then the Packers would need to lose and the Seahawks would need to win. In a three-way tie at 12-4, the Saints would get the No. 1 seed by holding the conference-record (10-3) tiebreaker over both teams.

How the Saints would keep the No. 2 NFC playoff seed

The Saints would stay at No. 2 if they beat the Panthers while the Packers beat the Bears to get to 13-3. Th Saints also would keep No. 2 with a loss at 11-5 while the Packers win and the Seahawks also lose to drop to 11-5.

How the Saints would drop to the No. 3 NFC playoff seed

The Saints can only do this if they lose to the Panthers to drop to 11-5 while the Packers win to get to 13-3 and the Seahawks win to get to 12-4. The Saints lose the head-to-head tiebreaker to the Packers, but have it both over the Seahawks and in the case of a three-way tie.

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