How the Packers can still earn the NFC’s number one seed
2. New Orleans loses one game to an NFC opponent
If the New Orleans Saints win out, the Packers won’t be able to catch them as they’d finish with a 14-2 record. So New Orleans will need to lose one game. And importantly, that must come against an NFC opponent.
Here’s where it gets a little bit complicated. If the Saints were to lose one of their remaining games against an AFC opponent, but were to win their other games, also with the Packers winning out, both teams would be tied at 13-3. They’d also be tied with a 10-2 conference record. The Saints would then have the tiebreaker due to a better winning percentage against common opponents.
So not only do the Packers need the Saints to lose a game, but it must happen against an NFC opponent. The Saints have two games remaining against NFC teams: San Francisco in Week 14, and at Carolina in Week 17.
This week’s game between the Saints and 49ers could be the key game. But a road divisional contest in the season finale also won’t be a guaranteed win for New Orleans.
If the Packers and Saints are tied at the end of the season, but the Saints lose to an NFC opponent in the final four weeks, the Packers would have the tiebreaker due to a better conference record.