Here's how the Saints can earn playoff 1st round bye this week

Chris Miller
December 12, 2018 - 1:26 pm

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams this weekend will be rooting for the same things: a victory and a Chicago Bears loss or tie.

That's what it will take for either team to lock up at least the number two seed in the NFC playoffs. While the Who Dat Nation will also be hoping the Rams to slip up (and fans in the City of Angels wishing the Saints do likewise), what the top two teams in the NFC do this week won't settle anything definitively as far as the top seed -- that is, there is no scenario this week that would guarantee either team home field advantage throughout the playoffs. A Saints loss would put the Rams back in first place in the division, while a Rams loss would give the Saints some breathing room. A loss by either team keeps the Bears' hopes alive for a first-round bye. Dallas is also in the running for a first-round bye but needs a lot more help.

NFC playoff scenarios, Week 15

Saints (at Carolina Panthers on Monday) have won NFC South
    Saints can clinch first-round bye with:
        Win AND Bears loss or tie
        Tie AND Bears loss

Rams (host Philadelphia Eagles Sunday night) have won NFC West
    Rams can clinch first-round bye with:
        Win AND Bears loss or tie
        Tie AND Bears loss

Bears (host Green Bay Sunday afternoon) have not clinched
    Bears can clinch NFC North with:
        Win
        Minnesota Vikings loss
        Tie AND Vikings tie
    Bears can clinch playoff with:
        Tie
        Washington Redskins loss or tie

Cowboys (at Indianapolis Colts Sunday afternoon) have not clinched
    Cowboys can clinch NFC East with:
        Win
        Tie AND Eagles loss or tie AND Redskins loss or tie
        Eagles loss AND Redskins loss

Seattle Seahawks (at San Francisco Sunday afternoon) have not clinched, and cannot win the NFC West.
    Seahawks can clinch an NFC Wild Card with:
        Win
        Tie AND Vikings loss AND Panthers loss
        Tie AND Vikings loss AND Eagles loss or tie AND Redskins loss or tie
        Tie AND Panthers loss or tie AND Eagles loss or tie AND Redskins loss or tie

AFC playoff scenarios, Week 15

Kansas City Chiefs (host Los Angeles Chargers Thursday) have clinched at least an AFC Wild Card slot
    Chiefs can clinch AFC North and a first-round bye with:
        Win
    Chiefs can clinch home field advantage in the AFC with:
        Win AND New England Patriots loss or tie

Patriots (at Pittsburgh Sunday afternoon) have not clinched
    Patriots can clinch AFC East with:
        Win AND Miami Dolphins or tie
        Tie AND Dolphins loss
    Patriots can clinch at least a wild card with 
        Win AND Tennessee Titans loss or tie
        Tie and Baltimore Ravens loss AND Titans loss AND Colts loss or tie

Houston Texans (at New York Jets Saturday afternoon) have not clinched
    Texans can clinch AFC South with
        Win AND Colts loss or tie AND Titans loss or tie
        Tie AND Colts loss AND Titans loss
    Texans can clinch at least a wild card with
        Win AND Dolphins loss or tie AND Pittsburgh Steelers loss
        Win AND Dolphins loss or tie AND Ravens loss or tie
        Tie AND Colts loss or tie AND Ravens loss AND Dolphins loss
        Tie AND Colts loss or tie AND Steelers loss AND Ravens loss AND Dolphins tie
        Tie AND Colts loss or tie AND Steelers loss AND Ravens win AND Miami loss
        Tie AND Titans loss or tie AND Ravens loss AND Dolphins loss
        Tie AND Titans loss or tie AND Steelers loss AND Ravens loss AND Dolphins tie
        Tie AND Titans loss or tie AND Steelers loss AND Ravens win AND Dolphins loss

Chargers (at Chiefs) have not clinched
    Chargers can clinch at least a wild card with
        Win or tie
        Dolphins loss or tie AND Steelers loss
        Dolphins loss or tie AND Ravens loss or tie
        Dolphins loss or tie AND Colts loss or tie AND Titans loss or tie
        Steelers loss AND Colts loss or tie AND Titans loss or tie
        Ravens loss or tie AND Colts loss or tie AND Titans loss or tie

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