That was meant to be plural "seconds". Hixon TD was with 28seconds left, so to be precise, it was 28 seconds away from a sweep. If you look at tie breakers, Saints would have won head to head tiebreakers too if you want to just compare the two teams against each other in actual play against each other. Comparing the two games, the wins might be split, but the total points, total yards, total TDs, strength of victory all favor the Saints easily.
Head-to-head (best won-lost-tied percentage in games between the clubs).
Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the division.
Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games.
Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.
Strength of victory.
Strength of schedule.
Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed.
Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed.
Best net points in common games.
Best net points in all games.
Best net touchdowns in all games.
Just bc Panthers won some meaningless division title doesn't mean they were the better team. Saints had all the head to head tiebreakers if the records were the same, Saints won in postseason on the road while Panthers looked out of place playing at home with an extra weeks rest against a team coming off a west coast game and having to travel across the NA continent,
So much bitterness. I would feel the same way if my team started 5-0, blew a 3.5 game division lead, and lost a game against a shitty jets team where their quarterback completed 8 passes, and a rams team starting their back up QB. Let's not forget about that important game against a supposedly inferior panthers team that your world class offense couldn't score more than one TD on or get a first down when it mattered and that your dominant defense couldn't stop a clearly hurt cam newton from marching down the field with less than a minute left without his best receiver.