Despite the beating they took last night at the hands of the NFC powerhouse Seattle Seahawks, the Saints are still in decent shape for the 2013 NFL playoffs, and can actually clinch a spot this Sunday.
If the Saints manage to beat the Carolina Panthers on NBC's Sunday Night Football there are two possible ways the Saints can stamp their ticket to the playoffs this week:
2) A Philadelphia Eagles loss or tie, plus a Dallas Cowboys loss or tie, plus a San Francisco 49ers loss, plus an Arizona Cardinals tie.
Note: If both the Cowboys and Eagles tie their respective games, the Saints do not clinch a playoff spot this week.
I'm certain the Saints will take care of their own business in the Superdome this Sunday night, but there are a lot of other things that need to happen outside of their control and the chances of that aren't very likely. My best guess is that the Saints will end up clinching their playoff spot next week instead.
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