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The #1 Seed in the NFC Playoffs Is Officially Back In Play

With the Dallas Cowboys waking up in December for the first time in. . .well, a long time. . .and ending the undefeated dreams of the New Orleans Saints, the #1 seed in the NFC playoffs is again a possibility for the Minnesota Vikings if they beat the Carolina Panthers this evening in Charlotte.

The Saints are now 13-1, and the Vikings are 11-2 (12-2 if they win this evening).  A victory this evening would also give the Saints and Vikings identical 9-1 records against the conference.  This is huge, as conference record is the first tie-breaker in determining playoff seedings.  New Orleans' last two games are both against NFC opponents (home against Tampa Bay, at Carolina).  So, if they were to lose either of those two games and the Vikings were to win out the rest of the way, the Saints would, by default, have more conference losses than Minnesota, ensuring that the road to Super Bowl XLIV would run through Minneapolis.

I'm not sure what the odds of the Saints losing either of those last two games is. . .but, hey, it makes things more interesting for Minnesota over the next two weeks.  Of course, if they lose tonight, then it really doesn't matter.

But that won't happen. . .will it?