The New Orleans Saints are legitimate NFC playoff contenders, but like most other contending teams, there are certain opponents they should hope to avoid in the playoffs.
Football is a game of matchups. The Saints’ strengths pose problems for most squads in the NFL, but their shortcomings make them vulnerable when facing others.
The Saints are 10-3, and with last Sunday night’s 31-13 stomping of the Carolina Panthers, they now hold a one-game lead in the NFC South. New Orleans currently sits in second place in the NFC playoff standings, and if the playoffs began today, the Saints would be set to host a divisional playoff game. In addition, a win on Sunday against St. Louis clinches a playoff spot for New Orleans.
The Saints are thus in a great position to not only make the playoffs, but to host at least one game.
Some playoff-contending teams, such as the Eagles, Cowboys, and Bears, would be favorable matchups for New Orleans, but there are other squads in the league that pose more daunting challenges. Whether these issues are related to personnel mismatches, cold weather, or a more physical brand of football, the Saints would be better off avoiding these squads. Here are five teams the Saints should hope to avoid in the playoffs.