Falcons become first team eliminated from playoff contention

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The Atlanta Falcons were 10 yards shy of making the Super Bowl last season. They won’t be going this year either.

With the San Francisco 49ers victory over the Washington Redskins on Monday night, the Falcons have become the first team to be officially eliminated from playoff contention.

The Falcons were no longer contenders to chase down the New Orleans Saints or Carolina Panthers for the NFC South division title, so their only hope was to make it as a wild card. The best record Atlanta can finish with is 7-9. The Panthers already have eight wins and San Francisco and the Arizona Cardinals are each 7-4. Since the 49ers and Cardinals play each other again in Week 17, one of them is guaranteed to get to eight wins, therefore eliminating the Falcons from contention. (Technically, the 49ers and Cardinals could also tie and finish at 7-8-1, which is still better than Atlanta can manage)

It’s just a reminder of how much can change in a year in the NFL.

Atlanta can now set its sights on possibly earning the No.1 overall pick in next year’s draft.