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NFL Playoff Picture: The Falcons are still the #6 seed in the NFC

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With ten games under their belts, they're still in it.

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

So we still need to talk about the playoffs.

This would be the part of our program where you shout me down for even bringing up the topic, and while I don't particularly blame you given the team's play of late, we have to acknowledge that Atlanta is still a game up on the last Wild Card spot. The Buccaneers and Seahawks are each just a game behind at this point, so it may not be this way for long, but Atlanta could play .500 ball the rest of the way and still potentially make it.

The primary reasons to believe Atlanta will hang on are, in no particular order:

  1. The crappiness of the NFC, in general. if the Falcons beat the Vikings, they'll be neck-in-neck for the 5th Wild Card slot. The Seahawks and Buccaneers are playing better, but are also pretty flawed football teams. There are other teams in the conversation, but they'll need a little bit of a run to get there.
  2. The Falcons themselves are in all of these games, and are generally losing thanks to a handful of lousy plays. Given that the margin between a crushing defeat and an "okay, we'll take it" win might be one or two plays, it's conceivable Atlanta will start pulling out some close wins against the manageable opponents left on the slate.
  3. Hope springs eternal.
The primary reason to believe they won't is that they are a bad football team playing bad football at the moment, and there's no clear indication that's going to get better. Unfortunately.

My advice is to strip away the expectations and try to stay sane, and if we're lucky, the Falcons will surprise us.