A month ago, this was a potentially tough game, but not a critical one. Today, it's one of the most important games the Falcons are likely to play over the last six weeks, if not the most important.
Why? It has everything to do with playoff seeding, because the 7-3 Vikings are currently one game ahead of the 6-4 Falcons for the #5 seed in the NFC. A win here gives the Falcons that positioning, keeps them ahead of teams like the Buccaneers and Seahawks who are currently nipping at their heels, and provides a confidence-boosting win at a time when the team desperately needs one.
A loss, on the other hand, could see the Buccaneers, Seahawks, or both leapfrog the Falcons for that sixth and final Wild Card spot, and while there's still five weeks to go from here, being at 6-5 and in a four game losing streak with two games left against the Panthers would be a nightmare scenario for this football team. We all know (or at least hope) Atlanta's going to be better in 2016 and beyond than they are right now, but when you're in the thick of the playoff hunt, you're not eager to drop out of it.
For all that, it's hard to see how the Falcons win this one easily, and I have to predict the loss. The Vikings are a good football team with an excellent defense, and home field advantage has only meant so much for the Falcons thus far in 2015. Given how toxic the talk about the team has become and what this game means, I'm pulling hard for a win, but I can't expect it.
Here's everything you need to know.
Falcons-Vikings game info
Game time: Sunday, November 29, 1 p.m. EST
Location: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia
TV Channel: FOX
Radio: 92.9 The Game (Wes Durham and Dave Archer)
Listen Live: Caleb Rutherford takes you through the game with live commentary!
Online Stream: Can't give you any legal, live streams, but NFL Gamepass offers a live audio stream of the Wes Durham and Dave Archer call, and is your best option for watching the games afterwards. DirecTV also has NFL Sunday Ticket, which is worth checking out..
Announcers: Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch, Pam Oliver
Injury Report: Leonard Hankerson is a big ol' question mark, as he has been much of the year. We'll know more today
Prediction: Falcons lose 24-20
Opposition: Daily Norseman