Can Saints make a playoff push?

Chris Ivory has been running effectively for the New Orleans Saints. Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Don't look now, but the New Orleans Saints have crept into the NFC playoff picture. Despite an 0-4 start, the bounty scandal and a porous defense, New Orleans is in the hunt -- and that should worry a whole lot of teams in the NFC.

Wins over the San Diego Chargers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Philadelphia Eagles may not excite many, but on Sunday the Saints beat an impressive Atlanta Falcons team, ending Atlanta's undefeated season. Is it time to start taking New Orleans seriously as a playoff contender?