The Tampa Bay Buccaneers did the Falcons the most gracious favor of losing against the New England Patriots, dropping their season record to 2-2. If things go accordingly on Sunday, the Falcons can be in an even better position than when they entered the bye week, holding sole possession of first place in the NFC South.
How can that happen? Easy: The Panthers lose.
The Falcons are currently 3-1, the Bucs and Saints are 2-2, and the Panthers are 3-1. The Saints can’t snatch first place because they are also on a bye week. Carolina, essentially, can either drop a road contest to Detroit and fall behind the Falcons, or have sole possession of first place with their fourth win of the season. Carolina has not been overly impressive this year, but they do have talent, and I’d rather they just started losing now, please and thank you.
Anyways, now you know the stakes of that Lions-Panthers game. Hatewatch accordingly.