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Falcons can clinch NFC’s top seed next week, with help

New Orleans Saints v Atlanta Falcons Getty Images

The Falcons clinched the NFC South title from their collective couch yesterday, when the Broncos beat the Buccaneers.

And amazingly, the 11-1 Falcons could wrap up the top seed in the NFC playoffs next week, with a win and some help.

According to Pat Yasinskas of ESPN.com, the Falcons could lock up the first seed next week with a win at the Panthers, plus a 49ers loss, and a loss or a tie each from the Packers, Giants and Bears. They can also clinch a first round bye next week with a slightly less restrictive set of occurrences.

The bigger question is whether that’s good for them or not.

All season, the Falcons have known that nothing that happens in the regular season will define them. Cruising down the stretch isn’t the best way to go into the postseason, and having nothing to play for for a month doesn’t force them to stay sharp.

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17 Responses to “Falcons can clinch NFC’s top seed next week, with help”
  1. lightcleric says: Dec 3, 2012 10:42 AM

    I’ve never been a fan of resting starters and this is definitely a team that shouldn’t do it. Matt Ryan has been mediocre/bad in way too many games lately for him to just take a rest.

    Like, how do you have Julio Jones, Roddy White, Tony Gonzales and let the SAINTS hold you to 165 yards and 1-11 on 3rd down???

  2. jbl429 says: Dec 3, 2012 10:50 AM

    The Falcons should probably rest their starters now and then rev up at the end of December like the season’s on the line.

  3. daknight93 says: Dec 3, 2012 10:55 AM

    It doesn’t matter if the failcants have home-field advantage, these guys will flop in the 1st round..the failcants have been awful at home all season, 1st round playoff exit is coming..BOOK IT!!!!

  4. skinsfan87 says: Dec 3, 2012 10:57 AM

    Just beat the Giants when you play them… nothing else matters

  5. logicalvoicesays says: Dec 3, 2012 10:57 AM

    Nobody is scared of Atlanta. They will choke as usual. Silly Falcons, playoffs are for adults.

  6. grendelg says: Dec 3, 2012 11:04 AM

    This is when Mike Smith’s coaching job starts. He’s gotta find a way to keep his team motivated and keep that winning edge even when these games don’t matter. Then he’s got to find a way to get them fired up and sharp after sitting out the first week of the playoffs. It’s a task he and other great coaches have failed at in the past, so we’ll see.

  7. aces79 says: Dec 3, 2012 11:42 AM

    Altlanta is a fluke they are going no where in the playoffs let them have home field they’ll need it they are the worst 11-1 team in the history of the NFL

  8. chc4 says: Dec 3, 2012 11:58 AM

    Let’s see… the Niners (and Kaepernick) are a fraud, the Bears don’t scare anyone. The Packers are a shell of their former selves. And the Giants? They are probably the scariest team in those top 4. Just assuming Atlanta will lose b/c they have in the past is such a lazy perspective. If that’s how things worked Manning and Elway never would’ve won one.

  9. kqole25 says: Dec 3, 2012 12:05 PM

    Wins are wins in the NFL, but if the Falcons play like they did at home against the Raiders, Panthers, and Cardinals it will be one and done again. Those 3 games could have easy been loses. 8-4 sounds more appropriate than 11-1.

  10. dzor22 says: Dec 3, 2012 12:07 PM

    Cue the Falcon hate from people whose teams arent 11-1.

  11. mannyicey says: Dec 3, 2012 1:28 PM

    I can agree that they need some focus on offense. Matt Ryan has been far from stellar and it’s the defense that’s really getting it done for the Falcons.

    That being said, I don’t see them going One-and-Done if they can get a First-Round bye. This year’s been great and it looks like they are going to do some special things this season. From being 11-1, winning the NFC South and sending the Sorry-Saints home to eat jambalaya; this season has already had it’s great moments.

    The playoffs is going to be a good time for the Falcons offense to do some cool things.

  12. Mr. Wright 212 says: Dec 3, 2012 1:33 PM

    Who cares if they clinch this or that? The Five other teams in the NFC playoffs would/will beat them the first chance they get. They’re just not tough enough.

    Talk about “which one of these does not belong”…

  13. darkjedi42 says: Dec 3, 2012 1:39 PM

    For the guy who said the Falcons are horrible at home, check your facts idiot, they are undefeated at the dome. Sure they have had some bad games but we still won. And I think just about every team has a few bad games during the season.

  14. dzor22 says: Dec 3, 2012 1:45 PM

    Mr Wright– you need to make sure you gamble on your predicitions. Seems you have it all figured out.

  15. eastcoastniner says: Dec 3, 2012 2:17 PM

    “chc4 says: Dec 3, 2012 11:58 AM

    Let’s see… the Niners (and Kaepernick) are a fraud, the Bears don’t scare anyone. The Packers are a shell of their former selves. And the Giants? They are probably the scariest team in those top 4. Just assuming Atlanta will lose b/c they have in the past is such a lazy perspective. If that’s how things worked Manning and Elway never would’ve won one.”

    The Falcons and Giants are great teams (Giants when they want to be), but calling the Niners “frauds” puuuh-lease. Just because our kicker cant make FG’s when he is set up to win it for us doesn’t make us frauds, it tells us we need a new kicker.

    But you’ll see how “fraudulent” our defense is when it’s playoff time.

  16. 8to80texansblog says: Dec 3, 2012 3:11 PM

    Texans can clinch homefield throughout this weekend too… with help.

    Need Denver and Indy to lose….

  17. seenoland54 says: Dec 4, 2012 11:43 AM

    So all the Falcon haters just love to say they’ll lose in the first round “like they always do” fail to notice that there is a completely different set of coordinators in place now. Oh, I notice how the ones that shoot their mouth off the most are the ones whose teams will be sitting at home watching the play offs instead of participating. Enjoy your gumbo on your living room couch this year Saints and fans, it was nice putting that nail in your coffin lid

    23-13… turn out the liiiiiiights the party’s ooooover.

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