With three weeks left, we thought you might be interested to see how the remaining schedule shakes out for the three NFC South teams left with playoff aspirations. All that remains for the Buccaneers, who play the Falcons, Panthers and Saints once each in their final three weeks, is to play the role of spoiler.
Week 15: @ Buccaneers
Week 16: @ Saints
Week 17: vs. Panthers
This is easily the toughest slate left. The Falcons have two road games, one against a vengeance-minded Saints team, and then finish the year at home against a Panthers team that already defeated them once this year. They truly need at least two wins in there, if not three, and none of them will be easy to come by.
New Orleans Saints
Week 15: vs. Jets
Week 16: vs. Falcons
Week 17: @ Buccaneers
New Orleans fortunately has arguably the easiest schedule left. The Jets can be scary and will likely give the Saints all they can, but at home in New Orleans, the Saints should win. They also get to host the Falcons and then have to travel to face the lowly Bucs in the final week of the season. I think there’s two wins there, more than likely, and if things go sideways for the Falcons, it could be three. New Orleans remains the favorite for the division, with only Atlanta’s second win derailing them.
Week 15: vs. Packers
Week 16: vs. Buccaneers
Week 17: @ Falcons
A slightly tougher row to hoe. The Panthers just impressively beat the Vikings, and have shown all year they are capable of hanging around no matter how ugly they make it look in any individual game. They’re dangerous, and certainly this slate is not going to crush their playoff hopes.
Even so, the Panthers might have to play the Packers with Aaron Rodgers this coming week, and they have a road game against a motivated Falcons squad in Week 17. That home game against the Bucs is the only truly easy matchup left, unless the Packers don’t bring back Rodgers this coming week.
The Falcons will have to continue to defy the odds to push past the Panthers and Saints, but we know they’re capable of doing so. They just have a tougher road to get there.