New Orleans Saints vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Game Info: 8:20 PM ET at Tampa Bay
What the Cowboys need: Win + Saints loss to clinch playoff berth
Likeliness to occur: 8.5/10
In a bit of an odd turn of events here, the Cowboys’ best case scenario would be for this game to not matter one bit due to clinching the NFC East with an Eagles win or clinching a playoff spot with a Falcons upset. The Cowboys would actually be better off with the Saints winning this game even if it doesn’t help them clinch a playoff spot. Being the last game of the day, we should know our fate.
Even if Washington and the 49ers win, it would still be wise to pull for the Saints. Dallas will still have playoff odds of at least 99% with a win over the Giants. A Saints win may delay the playoff berth a week, but that wouldn’t be the end of the world. The Cowboys are slated to host the Los Angeles Rams in the Wild Card game right now.
Any upset suffered by the Buccaneers, Packers, and/or Cardinals that can move the Cowboys up to the No. 2 or No. 3 seed in the NFC should be of our rooting interest, especially to avoid hosting the Rams. The Saints did take down the Bucs earlier this year, but I simply don’t see it happening again against the defending champs at home.
I give it an 8.5/10 in terms of likeliness of occurring for what the Cowboys “need” to clinch a playoff berth. But, I am hoping to be pleasantly surprised and wrong in an effort to improve our playoff seeding with a Bucs loss. Either way, a Bucs win punches our playoff ticket and a Bucs loss helps our seeding. Kind of a win-win here.