Coming into Week 13, the New Orleans Saints sat atop the division with an 8-3 record and hosted the also 8-3 Carolina Panthers in a battle for division supremacy. In the rest of the division, the third place Atlanta Falcons hosted the NFC West-leading Minnesota Vikings while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers traveled to Lambeau to face the Green Bay Packers.
So what happened in Week 13?
It was a good week for New Orleans. The Saints beat the Carolina Panthers 21-31, with the Saints improving to 9-3, dropping the Panthers to 8-4. The Atlanta Falcons also lost, dropping to 7-5 and remaining in third place. The Buccaneers continued their downward spiral, losing in overtime to the Packers 20-26.
Next week, the Saints can continue to gain ground in the division as they travel to Atlanta in their first game against the Dirty Birds on Thursday Night Football. The Carolina Panthers could help the Saints out for seeding purposes by winning their game, as they get to host the Minnesota Vikings. And in a game that only few people in the division will care about, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers get to face the Detroit Lions in Tampa Bay.
Without getting ahead of ourselves, if the Saints, Panthers and Rams all win next week, the Saints will have the #1 in the division. Win, and let the rest of the division take care of itself. #BeattheFalcons