The New Orleans Saints might have a few chinks in their armor. However, those don’t appear very often, if ever, at home, and after a 31-28 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers there on Sunday, they have made sure that they won’t have to leave the Mercedes-Benz Superdome until the Super Bowl, should they make it that far. The Saints clinched the #1 seed in the NFC thanks to the win, a win in which Drew Brees’ led them to a game-winning touchdown with just under a minute and a half left before Sheldon Rankins forced the sealing fumble from the Steelers. Brees and co. improved to 13-2 with the win, and they will now be a very tough out when it comes to the playoffs thanks to having home field advantage throughout. With their loss, the Steelers are not sitting outside of the playoff picture in the AFC and will need some help going into the final week of the season from those in front of them to have a shot at making it after a late collapse has seen them fall behind.
The Steelers’ loss helped pave the way, along with a victory over the New York Giants, for the Indianapolis Colts to get themselves into the playoff spots going into the final week of the season. The Colts, one of the teams on a roll in the entire league currently, didn’t show that kind of form early on as the Giants jumped out to a 14 point lead in the first quarter. Andrew Luck, though, would lead his charges back into the game and his pass to Chester Rogers from one yard out with just 55 seconds remaining on the clock handed them the win that takes them into sixth as things sit in the AFC playoff picture. The work is not over, though, because they will travel to Nashville to face the Tennessee Titans next week in what is basically the first round of the playoffs for both teams.
Elsewhere, the Kansas City Chiefs let a chance to clinch the #1 seed in the AFC slip away from them as they lost to the Seattle Seahawks, whom need a win to clinch a playoff berth. The Chiefs’ high octane offense was once again stifled as they came up short 38-31 in the Pacific Northwest. Pat Mahomes had three TD throws and 273 yards, but the Seahawks had all but cemented the game away with two and a half minutes left by going up by ten. From there, they held on to a big win, one in which the Chiefs will sweat over. Should they lose next weekend, albeit to the lowly Raiders, they could end up in the Wild Card places having dominated so much. The New England Patriots clinched the AFC East crown for the tenth year in a row. Despite their struggles, they are in second now and could, in theory, end up first in the playoffs should the Chargers and Chiefs both lose next week.