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realheavyd 12-12-2011 03:37 PM

New Orleans Saints Week 14 Recap: Playoff Berth Clinched in Tennessee

The 10-3 New Orleans Saints clinched a playoff berth this Sunday in Nashville with their 22-17 win over the 7-6 Tennessee Titans along with help from a 7-6 Chicago Bears’ loss in Denver to the Tebow-Time led 8-5 Broncos by the final score of 13-10 in overtime. It was great to see HC Sean Payton off his crutches for the first time since undergoing knee surgery several weeks ago now too.

The 8-5 Atlanta Falcons’ 31-23 victory over the 4-9 Carolina Panthers on Sunday kept the Saints from clinching the NFC South Division Championship title for now.

Meanwhile, the 10-3 San Francisco 49ers lost in the desert to the Arizona Cardinals, placing them and New Orleans into a tie situation, record-wise, for the number two seed in the NFC. At the moment, San Francisco holds the tie-breaker with the fact that they have already clinched their division title in the NFC West, whereas the Saints still have not.

The Titans, on the other hand, with this home loss to New Orleans, have now fallen three full games behind the AFC North Division Championship clinching 10-3 Houston Texans and at least temporarily out of immediate contention for a playoff position on the AFC side of things. At this point, Tennessee would most likely need to win out and get help from any (possibly all) of the Broncos, Jets, Bengals, Raiders and Chargers just to secure a wild card playoff spot.

Penalties were an ongoing issue in this game from the very beginning, with an overall total of 19 being committed on the day between the two teams. Penalties against the Saints were their ultimate downfall in keeping this contest close.
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