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Saints Beat Falcons; No. 1 Seed Still Available

The Saints handed the Falcons their first loss since Week 6 and first home loss of the season with a 17-14 win Monday night. The Falcons' last loss was the 31-17 drubbing in Philadelphia with Kevin Kolb in at quarterback.

Atlanta failed to clinch the NFC South division title and the No. 1 seed in the NFC for the postseason. The Saints clinched a playoff berth.

For the Eagles, this means they can still come out of the regular season with homefield advantage in the playoffs. First things first, the Eagles must beat the Vikings tonight. Five days later, the Eagles must oust the Cowboys.

The Falcons still control their own destiny for the NFC South title and the top seed. They must beat the team with the NFL's worst record on Sunday in the Carolina Panthers with the game in Atlanta. If the Falcons are upset, the Saints are in the driver's seat. They host Tampa Bay, who is still alive for a playoff berth.

Then, don't forget about the NFC North champion Bears who travel to Green Bay. The Packers secure the final wild card spot with a win. If the Falcons or the Saints win to secure the top seed, the Bears will get the No. 2 seed with a win since they beat the Eagles back in Week 12.

In short, the easiest but not the only scenario, Eagles fans want to see the Panthers beat the Falcons, Bucs beat the Saints and the Packers beat the Bears while Philadelphia takes care of Minnesota and Dallas. That would result in the Eagles obtaining the No. 1 seed. You don't think it's possible? Wasn't that the case in 2008 just to get into the playoffs?

-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 12:45 a.m., December 28

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