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The 2018 Falcons are officially eliminated from the playoffs

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Just in case you still thought there was a chance...sadly, no.

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Atlanta Falcons Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Well, that’s that for 2018.

Even though the Atlanta Falcons got a win Sunday, the cruel specter of time has had its final say. By the power of math, the Falcons have been declared as officially eliminated from the playoffs, as of Sunday. We’re just getting around to this because of all the celebrations (???) after that win.

As the shifting NFL schedule gets closer to January, bad teams begin to fall off the slate, no matter of current performance. So, a team can win a game, but still get eliminated because the rest of their schedule is bad, of course.

The Falcons have had a rotten season, and have just been playing for pride for some weeks now. But now it’s official-official. It is impossible for the Falcons to find some sort of random mathematical loophole into the postseason. That train left the station a long time ago.

All that’s left now is letting young guys develop on the roster and just hope for no injuries. Maybe find a sturdy block of wood to give a few knocks to during the last two games, just to be on the safe side.

The Falcons are done, folks. It’s been a long fall (in more ways than one), but here’s to a happier future. The team’s got a good shot of being right back where we hoped they’d be in 2019, so let those positive hopes abound into the new year.

For now, though, the book closes on 2018. Time to turn the page.