SUCCESS! 1) Cardinals (4-5) @ Falcons (8-1): Falcons. As much as it pains me to say it, the Falcons have the division locked up and it's best they defeat all other NFC teams.
NO DICE 2) Browns (2-7) @ Cowboys (4-5): Browns. No brainer here. An AFC team beating a 4-5 Cowboys team at home would be very nice for us.
SUCCESS! 3) Packers (6-3) @ Lions (4-5): Packers. This is up for some debate, but I would rather the Packers go ahead and win their division (I think with Cutler out with a concussion, they stand the best chance to take the NFC North anyway). A loss by the 4-5 Lions would help to eliminate one more team fighting with New Orleans for a potential wildcard slot.
SUCCESS! 4) Jets (3-6) @ Rams (3-5-1): Jets. Another no brainer. Not that the Rams pose a serious playoff threat, but losing to an AFC team would probably kill their chances altogether at a post-season berth.
NO DICE 5) Eagles (3-6) @ Redskins (3-6): Eagles. While both teams share the same record and division, we own the tiebreaker vs. Philadelphia. With Washington beating us in Week 1, they would be more likely to beat us out in a tie breaker scenario.
NO DICE 6) Buccaneers (5-4) @ Panthers (2-7): Panthers. This is a hugely critical game, as Carolina could blunt Tampa's momentum and bring them to .500. We need Tampa to drop another game or two and must beat them in the Dome on December 16th.
7) Bears (7-2) @ 49ers (6-2-1): 49ers. Unfortunately, both these teams are likely to make the playoffs at this point so either team winning this game could help or hurt the Saints. But I would bet the 49ers are more a lock to win their division over Seattle than the Bears are to win theirs over Green Bay. With that in mind, it would be better for the 49ers to go ahead and win their division and hope the Bears stumble without Cutler.
NOTE: I did not analyze AFC vs. AFC match ups, as they have no bearing on the Saints' playoff chances
I disagree with your analysis of who to root for.
Only game that went our way was the Jets game. Your assumption is for a record of 11-5. We need teams above us to lose, not just below us.
1. We wanted Arizona to win to start a spiral down hill of Atlanta. Had they lost then we would have only been 3 games back with 6 to go. They would have played at Tampa Bay this week and with the way Tampa is playing and Atlanta sucking that could have been easily a loss. Would have put us down 2 with 5 to go. We win in Atlanta and we are behind by one with four left. Atlanta would have then needed to play out hard to keep division. With their last 4 games including games @Carolina,
home against what would have been a desperate Giants team, @Detroit, and home against Tampa they could loose two of those. The Detroit game was also why we wanted them to beat Green Bay.
2. Wanted browns to win but the refs wanted Dallas to win.
3. We needed Detroit to win. The Packers were ripe for a big time loosing streak with all their injuries and a loss to Detroit would have been great so that the games against Minnesota twice, Chicago, and the Giants would have set us up nicely to really not care which team won. As wins by the Packers would have eliminated Chicago and Minnesota or wins by the other teams would have eliminated Green Bay.
4. Jets win was the only win we got in our favor.
5. Eagles versus Redskins did not really matter, only way the Redskins would have come back is to beat both Dallas and the Giants which if we beat those teams as well then we would win the wild card over them.
6. This one hurt the most, would have been nice to have Carolina give us some wiggle room is we beat Tampa Bay twice but loose to Atlanta.
7. Tonight we want the Bears to win. If we beat San Francisco this week and they loose to Seattle and at New England then we will be ahead of them . If they beat Seattle and we win out we will get the tie breaker.
As it stands 10-6 is not a lock for the playoffs if we are tied with Green Bay. But any other team and we have the better conference record by way of 2 of our losses coming to AFC teams.