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The state of the NFC South before tonight’s Falcons - Buccaneers game

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Not much has changed or can change for Atlanta.

New Orleans Saints v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

We had some faint hope that the Jets or Packers would be able to upend our rivals, but that’s not what happened. The Saints trounced the Jets, the Panthers had a pick party against Aaron Rodgers, and both teams are now 1.5 games ahead of Atlanta. That would feel like a nail in the coffin in a different season, but the Falcons have a manageable matchup tonight and they get to play the Saints and Panthers to end the season.

If Atlanta wins tonight, they keep pace, and they’re set up for success. Three wins in three games seals up the NFC South, two wins in three games gets Atlanta in as the #6 seed at minimum, and one win gives them an outside but real chance of making it. To win the South, though, they essentially need to win out, which will be a manageable but very real challenge.

Here’s the full standings, in case you’re curious.

NFC South Standings

Saints: 10-4

Panthers: 10-4

Falcons: 8-5

Buccaneers: 4-9