After 16 games of the regular season, playoff football is finally upon us.
The New Orleans Saints (13-3) enter as consensus favorites to claim the title in Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta according to sportsbooks per ESPN.
By virtue of touting the best record in the NFL, the Saints have home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs and earned a first round bye.
The No. 2 seed Los Angeles Rams also have a bye week.
In the divisional round, the Saints will face a TBD opponent in the Superdome on Jan. 13 at 3:40 p.m. (CST) on FOX.
The lowest seed that advances will travel to play the Saints in the divisional round, with the other opponent sent to the Rams.
Who could the #Saints face in the divisional round?
If the Eagles defeat the Bears in the first round, the Saints will host the Eagles
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) December 31, 2018
In the NFC Wild Card round, the No. 4 seed Dallas Cowboys host the No. 5 seed Seattle Seahawks (Jan. 5, 7:15 p.m., FOX) and the No. 3 seed Chicago Bears host the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles (Jan. 6, 3:40 p.m., NBC), who are the No. 6 seed.
The Saints cruised to a 48-7 victory vs. the Eagles in the Superdome in Week 10 and lost a 13-10 defensive struggle vs. the Cowboys in Week 12.
The Saints don’t have much recent history vs. the Seahawks. In the last meeting, the Seahawks defeated the Saints 25-20 in the Superdome on Oct. 30, 2016.
In order for the Saints to reach the Super Bowl, they’ll need to defeat their divisional opponent and then win the NFC title game on Jan. 20, which would also be at the Superdome.
Of all the teams in the NFC bracket, the Rams (32.9 ppg) might be the only team with the offensive firepower to keep pace with the Saints (31.5 ppg).
Over on the AFC side, the No. 1 seed Kansas City Chiefs and the No. 2 seed New England Patriots loom as viable contenders for potential Super Bowl opponents.
The highest graded quarterbacks in the NFL in the regular season. pic.twitter.com/pao8TqbD07
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) January 3, 2019
With future Hall of Fame member Drew Brees at the helm and the defense peaking at the right time, the Saints are certainly confident heading into the postseason.
The path to a second Super Bowl title in franchise history won’t be easy but if there is another parade down the Bayou, it will definitely be well earned.