were outplayed by beat Washington on Sunday thanks in no small part to seven Redskins turnovers and Mike Shanahan's perplexing decision to go for a game-deciding two-point conversion in the final minute.
Yes, that elusive thing we call a "win" finally made its way back into the Georgia Dome. We were all surprised.
It was an ugly, ugly football game. Neither team can truly be called "better," so we'll call Atlanta the "less worse" bunch. Sort of. But with this Atlanta victory, the Redskins now hold a vital advantage over our team and the other 4-10 teams in the projected order for next year's draft. As of 8 p.m. on Sunday night, the situation looks something like this:
1. Houston Texans (2-12)
SoS = .555
2. St. Louis Rams, via Washington Redskins (3-11)
SoS = .507
3. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-10)
SoS = .497
4. Oakland Raiders (4-10)
SoS = .505
5. Cleveland Browns (4-10)
SoS = .516
6. Atlanta Falcons (4-10)
SoS = .552
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-10)
SoS = .577
8. Minnesota Vikings (4-9-1)
SoS = .521
9. Tennessee Titans (5-9)
SoS = .495
10. Buffalo Bills (5-9)
SoS = .525
11. New York Giants (5-9)
SoS = .534
12. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-8)
SoS = .482
13. New York Jets (6-8)
SoS = .491
14. St. Louis Rams (6-8)
SoS = .557
15. Dallas Cowboys (7-7)
SoS = .484
This order may alter slightly, depending on the outcomes of the Sunday and Monday night games, but the Falcons are still locked into sixth for the next week. Alas, had Desmond Trufant not tipped Kirk Cousins' final pass, the Falcons would be riding the fast track to a No. 2 pick.
That failed Redskins conversion also means that, unless Thomas Dimitroff wants to trade up for the second straight year, the Falcons aren't likely to land Jadeveon Clowney. More and more, UCLA's Anthony Barr looks like the early, early favorite for the Falcons.
The silver lining here, other than a Sunday that bore witness to an actual Falcons win, is that the order could fall in Atlanta's favor over the final two weeks of the regular season. Next week's matchup, a road trip to San Francisco for Monday Night Football (oh Lord), and the season finale clash with 9-4 Carolina should be penciled in as Falcons losses, especially considering the way they played in their "win" over Washington.
So chances that the Falcons fall down any further in the order are much slimmer. As for the competition, here are a few week 16 games to keep an eye on:
Browns at Jets (Sunday, 1 p.m.)
I could definitely see Cleveland winning this one. The Browns have put up a hard fight for two straight weeks in narrow losses to the Patriots and Bears, while the Jets have lost four of their last five.
Jaguars vs Titans (Sunday, 1 p.m.)
Jacksonville is 4-2 since starting 0-8, including a two-point road win over Tennessee back in November. This is another good chance for Atlanta to jump a team in the order.
Raiders at Chargers (Sunday, 4:30 p.m.)
The Chargers come off a road win over the Broncos and the Raiders gave up 56 points to the Chiefs. Don't hold your breath.
Redskins vs Cowboys (Sunday, 1 p.m.)
Even after an EPIC collapse loss to the Packers (I mean, this was possibly the most glorious Tony Romo choke-jobs you'll ever see), it's hard to see Dallas losing to the Redskins. SEVEN TURNOVERS.
Buccaneers at Rams (Sunday, 1 p.m.)
You probably saw the final score of the Rams-Saints game. Mike Glennon will be picking a lot of grass out of his face mask next weekend.
All things considered, the Falcons could move back up to the No. 4 pick if the Browns and Jaguars both win, which actually wouldn't be out of the question in week 16. Of course, if Atlanta pulls off the impossible and beats the 49ers on "MNF," then things get really interesting.
But we all know that won't happen.