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NFC Playoff Picture: Saints can clinch first-round bye in Week 15

The Saints, with some help, can wrap up a first-round bye in the playoffs this weekend.

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NFL: New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Can you believe that we’re in Week 15 of the NFL season? Where has the time gone? The New Orleans Saints were able to reclaim the NFC’s top spot in the playoff race after taking care of their own business and getting some outside help. Here’s a look at where things stand with three weeks left in the regular season. You can find the full NFL playoff picture here.

NFC Playoffs - At a Glance

  1. Saints (11-2)
  2. Rams (11-2)
  3. Bears (9-4)
  4. Cowboys (8-5)
  5. Seahawks (8-5)
  6. Vikings (6-6-1)
  7. Panthers (6-7)
  8. Eagles (6-7)
  9. Redskins (6-7)
  10. Packers (5-7-1)
  11. Buccaneers (5-8)
  12. Giants (5-8)
  13. Lions (5-8)
  14. Falcons (4-9)
  15. Cardinals (3-10)
  16. 49ers (3-10)

Around the NFC South: Before the Saints meet the Panthers on Monday Night Football in Charlotte, the Falcons host the Cardinals while the Bucs take on the Ravens in Baltimore.

Scenarios: The Saints can clinch a first-round bye this weekend, but will need some help. For starters, the Packers have to beat or tie the Bears. Then, the Saints would need to beat or tie the Panthers.

  • Saints win + Bears loss OR tie
  • Saints tie + Bears loss

Matchups to watch: The Bears host the Packers during the noon slate of games, and the Rams won’t play until Sunday Night Football when they host the Eagles. The race for the final Wild Card spot is pretty interesting, with Vikings trying to keep everyone off of their heels.