NFL Picks And Predictions Week 17: Panthers Vs. Saints

If the Saints want to better their playoff position, they'll want to beat the Carolina Panthers this weekend.

New Orleans enters its last regular-season game locked in as the NFC South champion and is currently in possession of the conference's No. 3 playoff seed, which would mean an opening-round home date with the No. 6 seed. The Saints can only change their position if they beat the Carolina Panthers and the incumbent No. 2, San Francisco, takes an upset loss in its schedule-closer at 2-13 St. Louis.

The last time the Saints entered in such a playoff-certain spot, they rested Brees for the finale against Carolina, and ultimately went on to win Super Bowl XLIV in Miami.

Three of the five CBSSports.com experts think the Saints will be able to get it done. The ESPN experts are split evenly over whether or not the Saints or Panthers will win.

Peter King is unsure how the Saints will go about it but errs on the side of the Panthers.

No idea how Sean Payton will play this, though I know he'll want Drew Brees to finish with more passing yards than anyone in history. Meaning Tom Brady, who enters Sunday 190 yards behind Brees. A half sounds about right for Brees, particularly if Payton hears at halftime the Niners are comfortably ahead in St. Louis.

For more on the Saints, visit Canal Street Chronicles. For more on the Panthers, visit Cat Scratch Reader.

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