NFL Playoff Picture, Week 15: Next Saints Win Or Falcons Loss Ends NFC South Race

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 18: (L-R) Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints shakes hands with Minnesota Vikings mascot Ragnar after the Saints defeated the Vikings 42-20 at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on December 18, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam Bettcher /Getty Images)

New Orleans' win over Minnesota in Week 15 moves the Saints to within a win or a Falcons loss of the NFC South crown.

By virtue of their 42-20 Week 15 win over the Minnesota Vikings, the New Orleans Saints have clinched a spot in the NFC playoffs and moved one step closer to clinching the NFC South division crown. The Atlanta Falcons trail the Saints by two games with two left to play meaning that the Falcons must win out while the Saints must lose their two remaining games for the Falcons to have a chance to claim the division title. 

Atlanta can put the pressure on the Saints as the two teams meet in Week 16 on Monday night. New Orleans defeated the Falcons in Week 10 at the Georgia Dome 26-23 in overtime. 

As for the rest of the NFC playoff picture, the Falcons lead the NFC wildcard standings with a 9-5 record. Detroit leads the last wildcard spot with an 8-5 record pending the outcome of their Week 14 game with the Raiders. Seattle's win over Chicago on Sunday helps the Falcons because Atlanta holds the head-to-head tie breaker over the Seahawks. Chicago held the tie breaker advantage over Atlanta thanks to their win over the Falcons in Week 1. 

For more on the Atlanta Falcons and the NFC playoff picture be sure to check out The Falcoholic

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