If you're a Saints fan and you like your chocolate bittersweet or your Chinese soup hot and sour, you had a taste for how the Saints became the champions of the NFC South Sunday. The winners of that title left their locker room for the bus to the airport afterward wearing hats and t-shirts to that effect with the same sort of tempered pride as your co-worker might shuffle through the office wearing the winner of the ugly sweater contest.
Yes it would have been nice to solidify the NFC South in victory, but never forget that they earned it by winning 11 of their previous 15 games. And when you look at the six NFC Playoff teams, you can make the argument that the Saints were one of four of those six who didn't have to win and so maybe didn't play with the necessary urgency to do so.
The Vikings had to secure the number two seed with a victory and did. The Falcons had to grab the sixth and last playoff spot in victory and did. The Eagles, Rams, Saints and Panthers didn't have to win and didn't.
That's why its so dangerous to handicap the "surviving six" based on how they performed in their regular season finales Sunday. Victory meant a lot more to a couple than it did to the rest. Beginning next weekend, victory means the same to each team still playing.
It means everything.
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