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The Saints road to the January Bye Week

The Saints Road to the Bye Week

It’s that time of year again, no not Christmas, NFL playoff calculations and predictions time! This year it seems closer than ever with so many tie-breaker scenarios coming into play with the NFC West being super competitive and the Saints having played the teams from this division. There also the Cowboys being there because the NFC East is a thing.

The Saints have clinched their division and cannot fall below the #3 seed because Cowboys/Eagles.

Week 15 hasn’t changed a great deal with everyone winning (in the top 6) except San Francisco, but the 49ers loss to the Falcons does help later down the road. The biggest thing the Saints MUST do is beat the Colts on MNF.


All the scenarios below rely on the Saints winning out in a bid to get a bye week.

Week 16 is the most important week because all realistic paths rely on the result of the Packers @ Vikings on MNF unless Green Bay drops their week 17 game to Detroit, which is unlikely.

Week 16 Scenarios:

Week 16 GamesSaints WantLikely Outcome
Saints @ TitansSaints WTitans / Saints Win by less than 3
Rams @ 49ersRams W49ers Win
Cardinals @ SeahawksCardinals WSeahawks Win
Packers @ VikingsVikings WCoin Flip – Vikings Win (Home Field advantage)

IF the Vikings beat the Packers, Green Bay drops to 11-4 so with the Saints beating both the Colts and the Titans they improve to 12-3, giving them the game lead and putting them back into the #1 spot.

IF the Packers beat Minnesota and both the Seahawks AND 49ers win their respective match-ups, the Saints stay in the #3 seed.

IF the Packers beat Minnesota and 1 of the Seahawks and 49ers win, the Saints stay in the #3 seed.

This is why the week 16 MNF game is so important because I can’t see the Packers losing to the Lions in week 17, the Packers MUST lose at least one game for the Saints to get #1.

IF the Packers beat Minnesota and Detroit, the Rams MUST beat the 49ers for the Saints to get a bye in the #2 slot.

IF San Francisco wins twice (along with the Packers 2 wins), the Saints CANNOT get a bye.

IF Seattle wins twice (along with the Packers 2 wins), the Saints CANNOT get a bye.

IF San Francisco AND Seattle goes 1-1 (along with the Packers 2 wins), the Saints get a bye in the #2 slot.


IF the Saints WIN OUT and Green Bay loses to Minnesota, The Saints are GUARENTEED a BYE week.

So, all Saints fans are both rooting for BOTH New Orleans AND Minnesota to get Wins this weekend.

A Rams and Cardinals win helps with getting the #1 but the Bye is the most crucial thing.

Week 17 Scenarios:

Week 17 GamesSaints WantLikely Outcome
Saints @ PanthersSaints WSaints Win
49ers @ SeahawksSeahawks W (Dependent on week 16 results)Coin Flip – Seahawks Win (Home Field advantage)
Packers @ LionsLions WPackers Win

The Saints MUST win out to finish with a 13-3 record.

The Saints hold a head-to-head tiebreaker over the Seahawks, IF they beat San Francisco they also finish 13-3, putting the Saints ahead of Seattle.

Also, the best San Francisco can Finish is 12-4 so the Saints beat them on record.

IF Green Bay have beaten the Vikings and the Lions, they finish on 13-3 as well and take the #1 Seed due to NFC record, this put New Orleans back down to #3 regardless of the Seahawks/49ers result – as long as they both won in week 16.

IF San Francisco has lost against LA Rams, as well as Green Bay winning out, a 49ers win puts New Orleans back up to #2.

Key Results to controlling the #1

  • The Saints MUST win out
  • The Packers MUST drop a game
  • The 49ers MUST drop a game

Key Results to a BYE week

  • The Packers MUST drop a game
  • The Saints MUST BEAT Carolina and 1 more game – But can lose ONE game to Indianapolis or Tennessee (AFC South)

Yes! A Bye week can be obtained with the Saints losing another game but that game cannot be against Carolina (an NFC opponent). If the Saints go 2-1 in their last three games, they still only need Green Bay to lose once, meaning the other games are irrelevant for the top 2. It would be the #2 seed and they would likely go on the road to either Seattle or San Francisco but it is still a bye week.

All the Saints need to focus on winning out and let the other teams do what they can to help-out.

IF New Orleans had beaten San Francisco they would have been in the driving seat, that’s why it was such a huge defeat.

If you are still confused, check out and plug in the winning and losing scenarios for yourself.


  • The Saints beat Indy and Carolina but lose to Tennessee, who are still fighting for a playoff berth themselves.
  • BUT Green Bay loses to Minnesota and beats Detroit so both teams finish 12-4.
  • New Orleans gets the #2 spot with Seattle taking the #1 after beating both Arizona and San Francisco.
  • Green Bay will have the #3.
  • Minnesota wins out, leaping over San Francisco (#6) into the #5.
  • Dallas wins out to take #4.

Seattle #1 (BYE)               

New Orleans #2 (BYE)

Green Bay #3 (Home to San Francisco)

Dallas #4 (Home to Minnesota)

Minnesota #5

San Francisco #6

I do hope the Saints can win out for the 13-3 and clinch the #1 seed but the Titans on the road, in December will be far from easy.

Until Next Time……

Who Dat! (and SKOL! for week 16 only)

All Saints Considered resident UK Saint! Who Dat!