The New Orleans Saints secured a significant win Sunday without even playing a game.
The Los Angeles Rams (11-3) lost at home to the Philadelphia Eagles, putting New Orleans one game ahead the Rams in the loss column in the race for the NFC’s No. 1 overall seed with three games for the Saints to play.
The Saints also own the tie-breaker against the Rams because of a head-to-head 45-35 win on Nov. 4 in Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
In simpler terms: New Orleans needs two more wins to capture the No. 1 seed. It could slip up and lose one of its final three games, finish 13-3 and still capture the No. 1 seed no matter what the Rams do in their final two games.
New Orleans (11-2) plays at the Carolina Panthers on Monday Night Football at 7:15 p.m. CST on ESPN (or streaming at ESPN.com or the ESPN app).
The team that finishes first in the NFC gets a first-round playoff bye and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
New Orleans has never lost a home playoff game under coach Sean Payton. It’s 5-0 in those games.
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