As a Falcons fan, you’ll be hate watching the Saints and Panthers today, but you may want to know what we need to see from the other games on the NFL slate to give Atlanta the best chance to make the playoffs. Fortunately, as always, your friends at The Falcoholic have you covered.
Here’s what you need to know about today’s game, so you can yell at your television most appropriately.
Root for chaos at this point, and root for the playoff race to improbably tighten to the point where the Falcons can get homefield advantage. For that to happen, everyone needs to finish 11-5 or worse, and for Philadelphia that would start with an improbable loss to a very bad Giants team here. Maybe they’ll bounce back without Ben McAdoo at the helm.
To continue the theme, the Falcons basically need the Vikings to lose out to surpass them. Minnesota looked suddenly vulnerable a week ago in their loss to Carolina, and so they’ll need to drop one again to Cincinnati this week. This one feels like a stretch, but hey, dream big.
This has no bearing on the race that we care about, but I’m sick of the Ravens doing well despite their many failings, so go Browns.
I just don’t care for Washington, honestly.
Packers vs. Panthers
This one matters a great deal for Atlanta. The Falcons need Carolina to come back toward the pack so they can dispatch them and blow by them in Week 17, and while the Packers could make a push late with Aaron Rodgers, they lose out in any tiebreaker scenario against the Falcons. I’m hoping for a big Green Bay victory here.
Jets vs. Saints
Same thing here. The Falcons could actually be above the Saints in the standings this week if they beat the Buccaneers and New Orleans loses out to the Jets, as improbable as that seems with Josh McCown lost for the year. Root for the miracle here.
I’d really like to see Buffalo break their playoff drought and improbably beat the Patriots in the playoffs, so go Bills.
Very fond of the idea of Jacksonville going into the playoffs at the #1 seed. Very very fond of it. They’re just a fun, dominant football team right now.
The tiebreakers get complex here, but it’s in Atlanta’s best interest if Seattle falls off the pace here, given that they’re one of the better NFC Wild Card contenders remaining. You can construct a scenario where Seattle taking the division is the better outcome, but let’s go with the easier road.
Still a little mad at Kyle Shanahan.
Steelers vs. Patriots
Like I’m going to root for the Patriots.
Dallas could still conceivably make a Wild Card push, so let’s go ahead and let Derek Carr and company nip that in the bud.