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Saints, NFC playoff picture: See where New Orleans, others stand with 3 games left

December 11, 2017 GMT

Despite a crushing 20-17 loss to the Atlanta Falcons this past Thursday, the New Orleans Saints’ overall playoff outlook didn’t change much from Week 13 to Week 14.

With all National Football Conference games in the book, take a look at how the playoff picture is shaping up with three weeks left to play.

1. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (11-2)

Week 14 result: 43-35 win over Los Angeles Rams

Current status: Clinched the NFC East Division title. Has a one-game lead over Minnesota for the conference’s No. 1 overall seed, which comes with a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

2. MINNESOTA VIKINGS (10-3)

Week 14 result: 31-24 loss to Carolina

Current status: Leading NFC North division by three games. Trails Philadelphia by a game for the No. 1 overall seed and has a one-game lead for the conference’s No. 2 overall seed seed, which comes with a first-round bye.

3. LOS ANGELES RAMS (9-4)

Week 14 result: 43-35 loss to Philadelphia

Current status: Leading NFC West by one game. Slotted for No. 3 seed over Saints because of head-to-head advantage (Rams defeated New Orleans, 26-20, on Nov. 26).

4. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (9-4)

Week 14 result: 20-17 loss to Atlana

Current status: Tied for first place in the NFC South but holds the lead because of head-to-head tiebreaker advantage over the Carolina Panthers (New Orleans swept the season series over Carolina, 2-0). Holds No. 4 overall seed.

More on the Saints: If these seedings held, the Saints would host the Panthers in the first round of the playoffs. The winner would play either at Minnesota or at Philadelphia.

Division race: If New Orleans wins its final three game (vs. New York Jets, vs. Atlanta Falcons, at Tampa Bay Buccaneers), it will finish the season 12-4 and win the NFC South, no matter how the other teams fare.

Key games down the stretch: Carolina hosts Green Bay, which might have QB Aaron Rodgers back, on Sunday ... The Falcons-Saints rematch is on Christmas Eve ... Atlanta hosts Carolina in both teams’ season finale

5. CAROLINA PANTHERS (9-4)

Week 14 result: 31-24 win over Minnesota

Current status: Holds No. 5 overall seed, which is the conference’s first wildcard spot.

6. ATLANTA FALCONS (8-4)

Week 14 result: 20-17 win over Saints

Current status: Holds No. 6 overall seed, which is the conference’s second and final wildcard spot.

Falcons RB Devonta Freeman accuses Sean Payton of flashing choke sign, tweets ‘AINTS lol’ after game

OTHERS IN THE HUNT

Seattle Seahawks (8-5), Detroit Lions (7-6), Green Bay Packers (7-6), Dallas Cowboys (7-6), Arizona Cardinals (6-7)

Click here to see the full NFL playoff picture.

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