Entering Week 17, the Saints had a chance to earn the NFC's No. 1 seed and the NFC South title.
That didn't happen.
The Buccaneers' 23-13 win over the Saints has more playoff ramifications for Green Bay and New York, but it also kept the Saints from improving on their wild card standing.
Of course, so did the Falcons' win: Atlanta claimed the NFC's top seed with its win over the Panthers, and the Saints were more or less playing for pride after the Falcons went up big early.
If the Saints are going to repeat as Super Bowl champions, they will likely need to win three games on the road to do so. The only team the Saints would be able to host in the 2011 NFL Playoffs is the NFC's sixth seed, which could be the Bucs, Packers, or Giants.
On the bright side, Saints fans, Reggie Bush looked fast today. That could help in the playoffs.