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NFL playoff picture: What does Falcons-Ravens mean for NFC and AFC standings

The Falcons face the Ravens in Baltimore on Saturday. We break down what the game means for the NFL playoff picture.

NFL: DEC 02 Ravens at Falcons Photo by Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Saturday, Dec. 24 update: The Falcons will be sent out of the playoff picture with a Buccaneers win or tie on Sunday night after their loss against the Ravens.

Though the Ravens remain second in the AFC North after the Bengals’ win on Saturday, they clinched a playoff spot after the Patriots and Jets both lost in Week 16.

The Atlanta Falcons will head out on the road to take on the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday as both teams will be looking for a win to improve their chances of making the playoffs. The Christmas Eve matchup is set to kick off at 1 p.m. ET from M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore as DraftKings Sportsbook has the Ravens as 7.5-point favorites on the day.

Falcons playoff picture

The Falcons are 5-9 on the season, sitting in last place in the NFC South while both the Panthers and the Saints are also 5-9. The first-place Bucs sit at just 6-8, so anything can happen within the division through the last few weeks of the season.

Atlanta’s playoff scenario looks mighty bleak especially after the loss to the Saints in Week 15, but they can still end up with a playoff spot if they win at least two of their final three games, provided they finish with a better record than both the Bucs and the Panthers since both of those teams would win the tiebreaker scenarios against the Falcons.

Ravens playoff picture

The Ravens sit in second place in the AFC North with a 9-5 record, firmly ahead of the Brown and Steelers, who both sit at 6-8. They’re just one game back from the first-place Bengals, who sit at the top of the division with a 10-4 record.

If the Ravens win their final three games of the season, they’ll finish at the top of the AFC North and book their postseason ticket since their final game is against the division-leading Bengals. Baltimore could also clinch their spot in Week 16 with a win over the Falcons plus a little help in the way of a loss for at least two teams out of the Patriots, Jets, and Dolphins.

Tiebreaker implications

This game would implicate the common games tiebreaker and with both teams in tight divisional races, it could come down to that.