Are the Saints making the playoffs? All signs point to “of course not”, but that’s not going to stop us from rooting for it until they are officially eliminated, right? With that in mind I thought I’d give you a guide for how to watch the games today since the Saints are missing in action while healing up on their bye week. You’ll notice I didn’t mention the Atlanta Falcons game, and that’s because they have a gimme at home against the Oakland Raiders, and also because I’m basically conceding they’ve already won the NFC South. The only borderline insane shot at playoffs this year is probably going to be a wild card, and even that is a real long shot. Winning the division at this point is beyond a pipedream.
So here are games worth keeping an eye on:
1. Chiefs @ Bucs
The Saints will be nursing injuries on this off week while the Bucs presumably suffer some bruises in this game. As this is the Saints’ next opponent, it’s worth keeping an eye on how they fare. The Bucs are 1-3 (had a bye week last week) and a loss would put them at even in the NFC South standing with the Saints. Either way the Saints can move ahead of them next week with a win, but this is worth a look to see how the Bucs are doing. The Chiefs are 1-4 with their lone win coming on a bogus overtime victory in New Orleans, so if the Bucs lose this one we’ll know they’re in real bad shape.
2. Lions @ Eagles
I could go either way on this one. A loss for the Eagles gives them 3 losses and brings them closer to the Saints, but a Lions loss drops them to 1-4 and puts them even with the Saints and severely damages their playoff chances. As a playoff team last year, another blow to their chances puts them at a bigger disadvantage to rebound. Either result would be fine, though.
3. Cowboys @ Ravens
Since their impressive win in the opener, the Cowboys are reeling big time. Nothing would be better than for an AFC opponent to send them into the abyss. Go Baltimore.
4. Giants @ 49ers
I feel like the Cardinals are due for a midseason collapse, so we’re better off rooting against them and other wild card hopefuls like the Giants. The 49ers look incredibly strong and will win the NFC West. So I think the 49ers winning is a safer route to go here.
5. Vikings @ Redskins
The Redskins beat the Saints so the tiebreaker is something they own, but the Vikings are 4-1 so I think a Redskins win helps the Saints more right now.
Packers @ Texans (we want AFC here)
Bills @ Cardinals (hoping for a miracle Bills win)
Rams @ Dolphins (Reggie! Reggie!)
Enjoy the games today!