Saints playoff scenarios: Week 16

The New Orleans Saints' playoff-clinching scenarios are getting easier to figure out with just two weeks remaining in the season.

To win the No. 2 seed:

  • If the Saints (10-4) win Sunday at Carolina (10-4), they clinch the NFC South title and the No. 2 seed in the NFC.

  • If the Saints lose Sunday, they can still earn the No. 2 seed by winning in Week 17 against Tampa Bay and having the Panthers lose at Atlanta.

  • It's still possible (but highly unlikely) for the Saints to finish as the No. 1 seed in the NFC. If the Saints, Seattle Seahawks (12-2) and San Francisco 49ers (10-4) all finish at 12-4, the Saints will win the No. 1 seed because San Francisco would win the NFC West under that scenario.

To clinch a wild-card spot:

  • The Saints will clinch a playoff spot with one more victory.

  • The Saints will also clinch a playoff spot if Arizona (9-5) loses one more game. Or if San Francisco (10-4) loses its final two games. (Since San Francisco plays at Arizona in Week 17, the Saints will virtually clinch a playoff spot if San Francisco loses this week).

  • The Saints will win all tie-breakers for the No. 5 or No. 6 seed if they finish with the same record as San Francisco and/or Arizona.