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What are the Falcons playoff chances after the Panthers game?

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SPOILER: Not good

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

After starting the season with a horrendous 1-7 record, the Atlanta Falcons have found themselves winning two straight games. Both games came against arguably their toughest matchups thus far, traveling to the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers.

This discussion is one that I didn’t consider us having a few weeks ago, and even still, you should limit your excitement because the odds aren’t good. It’s still a discussion worth having because of their recent dominant victories and because the Falcons aren’t mathematically eliminated from the postseason yet.

Falcons must win out

There’s many factors playing into the Falcons chances of making the playoffs in 2019, but none greater than their own schedule. The Falcons must win all their remaining games. If they lose only one game on their remaining schedule, it’s not going to be good enough. They currently sit at a 15-16% chance of making the playoffs if they win out, with an 11% chance of hosting a Wild Card game. Losing one game will move that chance down to below 1%.

The Falcons remaining schedule is:

· vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

· vs. New Orleans Saints (Thanksgiving)

· vs. Carolina Panthers

· at San Francisco 49ers

· vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

· at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

We need help

As mentioned above the Falcons must win-out, but they also need a lot of help. Over the remaining regular season games, we need the New Orleans Saints, Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco 49ers or Seattle Seahawks to lose all their remaining games. If the Falcons win out and none of those teams lose out, the Falcons are basically done. If the Saints lose 5 of their last 6 games, the Falcons could win the division if they win out.

They need help, but they have to help themselves first.

Outlook

As you can see, the odds aren’t good. As much as we all wanted a top pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, it’s nice to see the team performing well, even if it likely won’t take us anywhere. Currently sitting at a roughly 1% chance of making the playoffs isn’t something to get your hopes up about, but knowing they can win out and stand a chance might be enough for those who are hopeful.

The players want to win for themselves and Dan Quinn, and that’s been obvious over the past two games. All we can do as fans is sit back and (try to) enjoy the ride.