WLOX Press Box: Saints playoff hopes improbable, but not impossible

WLOX Press Box: Saints playoff hopes improbable, but not impossible

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WLOX) - When talking about the New Orleans Saints, there is arguably not a more appropriate fictional character to reference right now than Lloyd Christmas.

After all, he said in the movie Dumb and Dumber: 'So you're telling me there's a chance.'

New Orleans' postseason odds aren't at 1:1,000,000 right now, but if you're thirsty enough for what you want, maybe you'd willing to get your tongue stuck on a frozen ski lift, much like what Lloyd's counterpart Harry Dunne did.

"It's a short week with Christmas and everything," Saints quarterback Drew Brees said. "Just getting the body right, getting the practice time in and getting the gameplan down. Hopefully (we'll be) putting together a better performance than we did last time."

Just how likely is it for New Orleans to be the NFC's sixth seed? Less than 1% according to ESPN's FiveThirtyEight research project. There is only one way the Saints can make the playoffs, and that's for them to finish in a tie at 8-8 with Green Bay, Minnesota and Tampa Bay. Carolina can still finish 8-8, but it also wouldn't matter if they also finished 7-9 in this scenario.

For the Saints to avoid elimination after Week 16, they must earn a win over the Buccaneers, the Vikings need to beat the Packers, and the Bears have to take down the Redskins.

It's even more complicated in Week 17 should New Orleans still be fortunate enough to not be eliminated. If this happens, then the following results would be needed: New Orleans over Atlanta, New York Giants over Washington, Carolina over Tampa Bay, Detroit over Green Bay and Chicago over Minnesota.

In the event of a four- or five-way tie at 8-8, tiebreakers begin by eliminating all but one team from each division. In this case, New Orleans has a better record in common games (8-6) than Tampa Bay (7-7) and Carolina (7-7).

Minnesota would advance in the tiebreaker because of its head-to-head sweep of Green Bay.

With New Orleans and Minnesota up for the final two spots, the No. 6 seed in the NFC would belong to the Saints based off a better record within the NFC (7-5 for New Orleans, 5-7 for Minnesota).

"Wherever the cards fall, wherever they may (for) our playoff chances, I keep hearing that we have a chance," Saints defensive end Cam Jordan said. "That slim light is enough that I need to see."

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