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The NFC South After Week 13: The Case for the Tank

The season isn’t technically over for the Saints, but it should be.

Detroit Lions v New Orleans Saints Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Coming into Week 13, the first place Atlanta Falcons hosted the Kansas City Chief. Tampa Bay, in second place, played the San Diego Chargers. The New Orleans Saints, in third place, hosted the Detroit Lions, and the last place Panthers travelled to Seattle to take on the Seahawks.

So what happened in Week 13?

After going 3-1 last week, the NFC South went a disappointing 1-3 this week.

The Falcons lost to the Chiefs, paving the way for the rest of the NFC South to make up ground in the division. Only the Buccaneers were able to take advantage, beating the Chargers 28-21 in San Diego. The Panthers fell to the Seahawks, falling deeper in last place, and the Saints dropped a poorly-played game to the Lions, now at 5-7.

The season isn’t technically over. The Saints are not mathematically eliminated from the divisional race just yet, and if the Bucs end up taking over the division, the Saints have two games left with them, starting next week. In the Wild Card, most of the teams directly ahead of the Saints won this week, making the window through the wild card incredibly narrow. It could very well be in the best interest of the Saints’ future to lose the remaining games of the season.

Next week, the Saints the play Tampa Bay in Florida (playing them again at home later), with the Falcons playing the Rams and the Panthers hosting the Chargers.

If the Saints lose next week, we might look back and say it was all for the best.

We’ll see.