OK, the Saints dropped to 5-7, and there are now five teams between them and the final Wild Card spot, so for them to have any sliver of playoff hope this December, they need a lot of help from a lot of different places, and it starts right here, with the rest of the Week 13 games.
What follows is today's lineup of games, in order of importance to the Saints/quality of the game itself, with a clever, brief note or two about each one, so you can carefully consider each one and decide for whom you are rooting, and which games you'll closely follow:
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Seattle @ Chicago - The 6-5 Seahawks currently own the 6th playoff slot with tiebreakers, so of course the Saints need the NFC North-leading 8-3 Bears to beat them.
Minnesota @ Green Bay - The Packers are 7-4 and hold the 5th playoff spot, and it'd be nice for them to knock the Vikings down to 6-6.
Tampa Bay @ Denver - The 6-5 Bucs travel out west and out of conference this week, facing the 8-3 Broncos. Go Peyton!! This one has a 4:05 kickoff.
Philadelphia @ Dallas - This one starts even later than the last one, and in it we find ourselves hoping for the toxic tire fire Eagles to upend the Romolicious 5-6 Cowboys. YIPES.
Washington is the other team in the Saints' way, but they play the Giants at home on Monday night, so let's get to the best of the rest, starting with the rest of the early games...
Carolina @ Kansas City - Out of respect for the Chiefs and the tragic events that unfolded yesterday, I will just wish them well.
San Francisco @ St. Louis - Who ties better than them? Nooooooo-body!!
Arizona @ New York Jets - Someone's gotta win in this game between two teams circling the drain.
Indianapolis @ Detroit - Andrew Luck has only one fewer touchdown pass than Matthew Stafford this season. Is that important?
New England @ Miami - Ryan Tannehill has 17 fewer touchdown passes than Tom Brady. I know this is important.
Houston @ Tennessee - This should be a bitter, bitter rivalry of past and present pain. But is it?
Jacksonville @ Buffalo - The All-Exodus Bowl. Jags owner wants to move to London or L.A., and Canada is rumored to be trying to poach the Bills. @What excitement.@
...and in the late slot:
Pittsburgh @ Baltimore - The cream of the crop of AFC games this week, and I have no desire to see any part of it.
Cincinnati @ San Diego - Time for the Bolts to win a couple and save Norv's job.
Cleveland @ Oakland - With six wins between them, it looks like the lands of broken dreams.
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So, those are today's games. Who are you watching in your area? How are you coping with Thursday's sad loss, three days out from it?