Last night's win by the defending champs, the New Orleans Saints, over the Atlanta Falcons makes the NFC playoff picture just a little clearer, at least for the eventual NFC West winner.
By beating the Falcons, the Saints have guaranteed themselves a wild card spot and a trip to either Seattle or St. Louis in the opening round of the postseason. A Falcons win would have left the door open to several possibilities for the Rams or Seahawks.
Week 17 is essentially a playoff game for the NFC West, a playoff game in everything but the official record book. It won't be an easy task for the winner to face a Saints team that just beat the Falcons in Atlanta.
The NFC West showdown was moved to the prime time NBC spot last too.