The New Orleans Saints have run all over the Minnesota Vikings on their way to securing the NFC South division for the 2020 season. After bungling opportunities over the last two weeks, the finally get it done and give the Who Dat Nation the Christmas present they had been waiting for. And they do so in style with a 50-burger and six rushing touchdowns from MVP running back Alvin Kamara.
For the first time in its history, the NFC South has been secured by the same team four years in a row. The division was once known for never having back-to-back winners throughout its first 11 years since the 2002 realignment.
Last season, the Saints became the second team along with the Carolina Panthers (2013-2016) to win the NFC South title three years in a row. Now, they lock up their fourth-straight division title, fourth-straight playoff appearance, and fourth-straight double-digit win season.
They’ve achieved all of this impressively as quarterback Drew Brees and wide receiver Michael Thomas have appeared together in only two games and a half, several injuries have hit key positions throughout the season, and of course they’ve been working with Taysom Hill in at signal caller with Brees out due to injury.
Now that New Orleans has sealed their fate in the division and were the first team this season to clinch a playoff spot, their focus shifts from the South to their placement amongst the rest of the conference.
Last year’s divisional championship slogan was “The South Is Not Enough.” Most assuredly, the sentiment rings true as New Orleans braces for the remainder of their season. The Saints will look at potentially regaining the NFC’s first seed which they lost following their defeat in Philadelphia a couple weeks ago. They do, however, improve their seeding by guaranteeing themselves at least the #3 seed in the conference now as a division winner.
Only that first seed in each conference earns a first round bye and the Saints, who have appeared in two Wildcard games in the last three seasons, most definitely want that advantage.
Quarterback Drew Brees is now two games back from his extensive injuries and wide receiver Michael Thomas was sent to injured reserve as he continues to manage his pesky ankle injury. An additional week of rest for Brees and a fourth week off for Thomas would be of great benefit ahead of the postseason.
Any division title win should be celebrated, but the Saints may keep their celebration brief while they have much left to achieve this season. Ideally, this is one of many laurels they’ll hang by the season’s end.
As of Friday morning, New Orleans was set for the third-best odds to win the Super Bowl as well as the second-best odds to represent the NFC as conference champions. Perhaps those numbers shift now that New Orleans has locked up the division with a monumental win on the scoreboard Christmas Day.
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