METAIRIE, La. ― Of all the scenarios that could put the Saints into the playoffs this weekend, winning Monday at Atlanta (7:30 p.m.) is certainly the one sure-fire way.
But a Tampa Bay loss to Seattle on Sunday also would do the trick, putting the Saints (10-4) in as well.
Just don’t expect Saints quarterback Drew Brees to sit around praying for the Buccaneers to drop the game.
“We want to take care of business,” Brees said. “We want to control our own destiny. Regardless of what happens, we’re just worrying about what we’re going to do.”
The question Brees had to try and answer Thursday was whether the team would lose its edge Monday night if it already knew it had playoffs locked up.
Brees, of course, wasn’t the guy to ask about that.
“I haven’t even thought about that because I want to win this game,” Brees said. “Obviously if we do clinch prior to that game, it’s not going to affect our mindset in any way. Because this is a pride game more so than anything.”
While the Saints need to win their final two games and have Atlanta (12-2) lose their final two for New Orleans to clinch home-field advantage, that scenario isn’t likely with the Falcons set to host 2-12 Panthers to close out the season.
For the Saints, the focus is just winning one and getting in on their own merits.
“We want to win because we want to win, but obviously what it does for us from a playoff perspective,” Brees said. “We lock in a playoff spot. It’s a divisional game on the road, against a team that potentially is looking at the one seed as long as they can win one of these two, so I think our hopes are that potentially (we hope to) go back there again.”