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NFL playoff picture: What does Saints-Falcons mean for NFC standings

The New Orleans Saints face the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta in Week 18. We break down what the game means for the NFL playoff picture.

Alvin Kamara #41 of the New Orleans Saints scores a touchdown in the fourth quarter of the game against the Carolina Panthers at Caesars Superdome on January 02, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Sunday PM update: The Saints won 30-20 over the Falcons to keep their playoff chances alive with a 9-8 record to close out the season. However, a win from the 49ers officially squashed their chances at the post-season. They’re out of contention for a 2022 NFL playoff run.

The New Orleans Saints playoff hopes are still alive as they enter Week 18 and take on the Atlanta Falcons. When these NFC South opponents met in Week 9, it was the Falcons that came away with the 27-25 victory. The Falcons are eliminated from playoff contention, but the Saints have to win to have a shot at getting into the playoff field. Kickoff from Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia is set for 4:25 p.m. ET with the game airing on FOX.

New Orleans Saints playoff picture

Current NFC standing

The Saints are on the outside looking in for the NFC playoff picture, but with a win, they have a shot at sneaking in. If they can beat the Falcons, they need the Los Angeles Rams to beat the San Francisco 49ers and they will enter the NFC playoff field as the No. 7 seed. The Saints are 3-2 over their last five games and have struggled to have consistent quarterback play since starter Jameis Winston went down with a season-ending injury in Week 8.

Rest of the NFC playoff field

Packers (13-3) @ Lions (2-13-1)
49ers (9-7) @ Rams (12-4)
Panthers (5-11) @ Buccaneers (12-4)
Seahawks (6-10) @ Cardinals (11-5)
Cowboys beat Eagles on Saturday