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NFL Playoff Picture: Saints Clinch, Falcons Home Field Quest Delayed Another Week

By beating the Atlanta Falcons 17-14, the New Orleans Saints clinched a spot in the 2010 playoffs. They're in line for the No. 5 seed, but they can still take the NFC South if they beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Falcons lose to the Carolina Panthers in week 17.

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The Falcons get the reeling Panthers at home, and will be favored by double digits. Home field advantage is well within reach for the Falcons, but it would've been nice to lock it up in week 16 and give Michael Turner and others a little bit of rest.

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If things stay the way they are, and nothing outrageous happens next week, the Saints will travel to play the St. Louis Rams or Seattle Seahawks. If the Panthers upset the Falcons, Atlanta and New Orleans will swap places, and the Falcons will have to play the NFC West champ in round one. Which is kind of a week off, but yeah.

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Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.