How did the Saints loss in Dallas affect NFC playoff race?

Chris Miller
November 30, 2018 - 2:35 pm

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Normally, a football team with a 10-2 record 13 weeks into the NFL season would be a favorite for winning home field advantage in the playoffs. For the New Orleans Saints in 2018, though, it now means they're behind the 10-1 Los Angeles Rams for the top seed in the NFC. The Rams are on the road this weekend to battle 4-7 Detroit.

The Saints remain ahead of the NFC's currently third-ranked team, the Chicago Bears, who are 8-3 with a trip to the Meadowlands Sunday to take on the 3-8 New York Giants. And with the Rams and Bears set for a Week 14 showdown at Soldier Field on Sunday Night Football, whoever loses that game can help the Saints either regain the number one seed or shore up their position for the number two seed and a first-round bye. That is, of course, assuming the Saints bounce back when they play the Buccaneers at Tampa that afternoon.

The Saints also maintain a three-and--a-half game lead in the NFC South over the Carolina Panthers. The Saints will travel to Carolina for Monday Night Football on December 17, and will host the Panthers in the season finale on December 30.

Another Saints victory coupled with a Carolina loss is all it will take for the Saints to win the division. Carolina is at Tampa Bay this Sunday. 

Here is the remaining schedule and current records for the four current NFC division leaders:

L.A. Rams (10-1):
    Sunday, 12/2 at Detroit
    Sunday, 12/9 at Chicago
    Sunday, 12/16 Philadelphia
    Sunday, 12/23 at Arizona
    Sunday, 12/30 San Francisco

New Orleans Saints (10-2):
    Sunday, 12/9 at Tampa Bay
    Monday, 12/17 at Carolina
    Sunday, 12/16 Pittsburgh
    Sunday, 12/30 Carolina

Chicago Bears (8-3):
    Sunday, 12/2 at N.Y. Giants
    Sunday, 12/9 Rams
    Sunday, 12/16 Green Bay
    Sunday, 12/23 at San Francisco
    Sunday, 12/30 at Minnesota

Dallas Cowboys (7-5):
    Sunday, 12/9 Philadelphia
    Sunday, 12/16 at Indianapolis
    Sunday, 12/23 Tampa Bay
    Sunday, 12/30 at N.Y. Giants

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