It all comes down to this!
For all the struggles, pains, and hardships that the 2021 New Orleans Saints have had to endure, to be sitting at 8-8 with a shot at the postseason this Sunday is a testament to just how wild this NFL season has been. It almost feels as if it were 5 years ago when Jameis Winston and this Saints team had a record of 5-2 on the season. Newsflash, that was just a few months ago my friends.
Fast forward a few months later and the Saints have a realistic shot to make an appearance on Wild Card weekend. To get there, first they’ll need to take down a bitter rival in the Atlanta Falcons. Let’s pretend for a second that the 49ers have already lost to the Rams allowing the Saints a clear pathway in, let’s dive into what would happen if the Saints win or lose this upcoming game.
If the Saints win:
If the Saints win (assuming the Rams take care of the Niners) then they will assume possession of the 7 seed, allowing them into the playoffs. For everything this team has gone through over the course of the year, it would be wild to even think about.
NFL Network’s Cameron Wolf had this to say on just what this team has had to endure, and what Sunday means for the team as a whole.
Saints get in the playoffs with a win & 49ers loss to the Rams. Highlighting on NFL Now some of the adversity Saints have overcome on and off the field to even be in this position: pic.twitter.com/ybfcXCU699
— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) January 5, 2022
The 7th seed would mean that the Saints would most likely be looking at a trip to Los Angeles to face an old nemesis: the Rams. The Saints and the Rams are no stranger to each other as I’m sure that fans of New Orleans have not forgotten about the infamous no call incident from the 2018 NFC championship game. They also haven’t forgotten that Aaron Donald injured Drew Brees on the two team’s next meeting, sending Brees out for 3-4 weeks. It’s safe to say that a revenge match for the Saints against a suspect Rams team would make for good television on Wild Card weekend. To make it there, the Saints have to take care of business first against Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons.
If the Saints lose:
If the Saints end up dropping this game, nobody would blame them. This team has been battered all season battling both injury and COVID-19, the fact that they’ve held on this long should be commendable. With a loss here, the Saints season would no doubt end in Atlanta. Dropping to 8-9 on the season would allow the 49ers the opportunity to make it into the playoffs as the 7th seed even if the Rams find a way to overcome them.
I’d like to say this much to fans of the Saints: don’t lose hope. This season has been a wild ride up to this point and you all as a fanbase have had to deal with numerous setbacks week after week. I have a firm feeling that the 2022 season will be a better year with the hopeful return of Jameis Winston and longtime Saints WR Michael Thomas. So, if this season’s road ends Sunday in Atlanta, keep your head up Saints fans, this team will return.
The Saints take on the Atlanta Falcons Sunday at 3:25 CT/4:25 ET on FOX.
Let’s hope that the Saints can take care of business and find a way into the post season!
Prediction: 24-10 Saints.