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What are the chances the Falcons make the playoffs?

We discuss whether or not the Atlanta Falcons will make the 2024 NFL Playoffs

John FitzPatrick #87 of the Atlanta Falcons and Taylor Heinicke #4 of the Atlanta Falcons celebrate after Heinicke’s rushing touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on December 31, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

The Atlanta Falcons are seeing their season circle the drain, but the woeful NFC South has kept their faint playoff hopes alive. The Falcons entered Week 17 tied with the Saints a game back of the Buccaneers. Atlanta then embarrassed themselves with a 37-17 loss to the Bears. The Saints went on the road and upset the Bucs to move into a tie for first.

The Falcons sit a game back of the Saints and Bucs, but they still have a shot at the division title. They can win the NFC South if they beat the Saints in New Orleans and the Bucs lose to the Panthers in Charlotte. It’s fairly long odds, but it’s not entirely out of the realm of the possible.

Update — The Falcons lost to the Saints in Week 18 and have been eliminated from playoff contention.

Atlanta Falcons current odds

DraftKings odds: To make the playoffs — Yes +700, No -1200; NFC South +650
DVOA playoff odds: TBD
ESPN FPI: 11.6%
NY Times odds: 17%

Upcoming Schedule

Week 18: @ Saints

This is a fun rivalry and this kind of matchup provides room for some chaos in Week 18. Either team could win and it would not surprise me, but I’ll go for the chaos finish and predict a Falcons road win.

Final record prediction: 8-9

Current NFC playoff standings

1. San Francisco 49ers, 12-4 — clinched NFC West
2. Dallas Cowboys, 11-5 — clinched playoff berth
3. Detroit Lions, 11-5 — clinched NFC North
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 8-8

5. Philadelphia Eagles, 11-5 — clinched playoff berth
6. Los Angeles Rams, 9-7 — clinched playoff berth
7. Seattle Seahawks, 8-8

8. New Orleans Saints, 8-8
9. Minnesota Vikings, 7-8
10. Green Bay Packers, 7-8
11. Chicago Bears, 7-9
12. Atlanta Falcons, 7-9
13. New York Giants, 5-11 — eliminated
14. Washington Commanders, 4-12 — eliminated
15. Arizona Cardinals, 4-12 — eliminated
16. Carolina Panthers, 2-13 — eliminated

Verdict

The Falcons are going to come up short. The Bucs will beat the Panthers to clinch the division. If Atlanta wins, they could move into a tie for the final wild card berth, but they are behind in too many tiebreakers. The Seahawks losing in Week 17 helped, but they need too many things going right for them.