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The State Of The NFC South & Playoff Picture, Week 15: The Falcons Hang On

The Falcons are still in first place in the NFC South after 14 weeks of the 2014 NFL Season.

Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

The Atlanta Falcons are in first place in the NFC South after Week 14, and that has to be one of the great plot twists in modern literature.

After losing to the Packers, the Falcons now have three games left to keep the good times rolling.

NFC South Standings, Week 14

Atlanta Falcons: 5-8
New Orleans Saints: 5-8
Carolina Panthers: 4-8-1
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 2-11

Obviously, the Buccaneers are dead. They'd lose a divisional tiebreaker against any of these other teams, they're three games back already, and there's three games left to play. I come to bury them until 2015.

It gets interesting from there. The Falcons, Saints and Panthers are all close, and both have easier schedules than the Falcons. The Panthers may now be missing Cam Newton for a week or two, which would seem to all but knock them out, but the way this division has gone I'll believe that when I see it.

If the Panthers do fall out of the race, that would leave the Falcons, who rallied against a dominant Packers team and beat up on a tough Cardinals defense in Week 13, and the Saints, who thumped the Steelers and then fell apart against Carolina the next week, with rumors of internal discord swirling around them. I think the Falcons will walk out of this one, but again, given the state of the NFC South predictions are probably irresponsible.

Right now, the Falcons would be the #4 seed in the NFC playoffs. The Saints and Panthers are still very much in the running, so we'll have to see what happens in the last three weeks of the season.

What's your prediction, dear irresponsible reader?