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NFL playoff picture: Who to root for in Week 17 if you are a Atlanta Falcons fan

Week 17 is here and the Atlanta Falcons are close in the NFC South race. Who should Atlanta fans root for to help their chances?

Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints fans attend during the second half of the game between the Carolina Panthers and the Atlanta Falcons at Bank of America Stadium on December 17, 2023 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

The Atlanta Falcons head into the final two weeks of the 2023-24 regular season on the outside looking in at the NFC playoff picture. However, they have a realistic shot at a playoff berth with a little bit of help.

The Falcons are 7-8 and sit in second place in the NFC South. They’re tied with the New Orleans Saints and sit a game back of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Saints and have a chance to get past the Bucs on the division record tiebreaker if things fall their way.

Atlanta travels to face the Chicago Bears in Week 17 and are a three-point underdog at DraftKings Sportsbook. They need a win and some help to move up in the standings. Here’s a look at the games Falcons should keep an eye on Sunday afternoon.

Result: The Falcons suffered an embarrassing 37-17 loss to the Bears on Sunday. They are technically still alive thanks to the Saints win over the Bucs.

Saints vs. Buccaneers

Result: The Saints beat the Bucs with surprising ease to keep Atlanta alive in the NFC South race. Atlanta can clinch the division with a win over New Orleans and a Tampa loss to Carolina in Week 18.

This is a simple one. If the Bucs win, they clinch the division. If the Saints win, the division remains open if the Falcons win. Tampa Bay is a field goal favorite.

Rams vs. Giants
Steelers vs. Seahawks
Packers vs. Vikings

Result: The Rams beat the Giants.

The Rams, Seahawks, and Vikings all sit ahead of the Falcons in the wild card standings. The Falcons beat the Packers earlier this year while losing to the Vikings. They have not faced the Rams or Seahawks and so any tiebreakers would come down to conference record or further down the tiebreaker list.

The Rams are a 4.5-point favorite, the Seahawks are a 3.5-point favorite, and the Vikings are a 1.5-point favorite.