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Saints vs Falcons: 4 most important storylines in Week 18 game

The New Orleans Saints walk into the season finale versus the Atlanta Falcons with everything on the line. To boil the importance of this game simply, the loser of this game is eliminated from the playoffs. The winner of this game would win the division if Tampa Bay loses to Carolina.

The weight of this game is the biggest storyline heading into the game, but it isn’t the only storyline. Both the coaches are looking for this win for different purposes. We don’t need to even get to the overall rivalry. This is a make or break game and these are the biggest storylines to watch heading into Week 18.

Playoffs are potentially on the line

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Saints’ playoff hopes are tied to this game, and the same can be said for Atlanta. If the Saints want to make the playoffs, they have to win. Unfortunately, New Orleans doesn’t control their own destiny.

A win is required to stay alive in the playoff hunt but doesn’t guarantee a berth. The Buccaneers or the Seahawks and Packers to lose in Week 18 in addition to a Saints victory.

Can the Saints follow up a big win?

Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

The Saints just secured a big victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Saints haven’t been able to follow a big victory with another win this season. As previously mentioned, the Saints need a victory in order to keep their playoff hopes alive.

How will the Saints follow up their major victory over the Buccaneers? It’ll be interesting to look for New Orleans’ ability to maintain their offensive and defensive performance.

Dennis Allen is looking for his first winning season

Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

Dennis Allen has never had a season with a winning record as a head coach. By winning last week, Allen has already the most victories in a single season of his career. However, jumping from 7 to 8 wins is meaningless if it’s still results in a losing season. Allen, Saints leadership, and Saints fans should all walk away very disappointed finishing 8-9 on the year.

Arthur Smith farewell party?

Todd Kirkland/Getty Images
Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

Smith may be coaching for his job. If he isn’t then the Falcons have already decided to move on. From the outside looking in, it feels as if Arthur Smith is on his way out the door. The Saints have the opportunity to push him out and lock the door. It’ll be interesting to see what impact the result of this game has after the 60 minutes.

Story originally appeared on Saints Wire