After losing a thrilling shootout against the San Francisco 49ers, the New Orleans Saints must win out and it starts against the Indianapolis Colts.
The New Orleans Saints were on the wrong side of a shootout with the San Francisco 49ers in Week 14 and now have some work to do (and some help needed) to not only have a chance at home-field advantage in the NFC but also a first-round bye.
Even if the Saints win out in the final three games of the season, the team is going to need the Green Bay Packers to lose at least one game to be the second seed and the 49ers to lose two games (or tie in the division with Seattle) to be the one-seed.
If the 49ers only lose one game, as long as they do not tie in the division with the Seahawks, then the Saints can only be the second-seed. If the Packers win out then the Saints will finish behind them no matter what.
The Indianapolis Colts are not a team that is going to roll over and started the year strong but has faltered here lately with some injuries. Here is how their roster compares to the New Orleans Saints’.
Special teams: Advantage, New Orleans Saints
As it has been in all but one game this season, the advantage for the New Orleans Saints in the special teams’ department is not even close. Wil Lutz is one of the most reliable kickers in the league, Thomas Morstead has arguably been the best punter in the league and Deonte Harris has overcome his rookie hiccups to become one of the best return men in the league.
Meanwhile, the Colts have a new kicker in Chase McLaughlin, who is taking over for Adam Vinatieri after Vinatieri required season-ending surgery. McLaughlin has made 15 of 20 field goals across three different teams this season.
Rigoberto Sanchez is a good punter but is not as good as Morstead and the Colts are right behind the Saints in both yards per punt return and yards per kickoff return.