No one would have ever guessed that a Week 17 matchup between the 6-9 Atlanta Falcons and 6-8-1 Carolina Panthers would have so much at stake.
The winner takes the NFC South and locks up the final playoff spot in the conference.
It’s division leader versus division leader as the Atlanta Falcons host the Arizona Cardinals, who have the best record in the NFC at 9-2.
On the other hand, the 4-7 Falcons made NFL history by being the first team to ever lead a division while being three games under .500.
I took more time than usual to put this recap together because I couldn’t figure out what to say about this Atlanta Falcons team.
And it’s not as if there’s a shortage of things to say. Any unflattering adjective fits the bill.
It seems absurd for the 3-6 Atlanta Falcons and 3-6-1 Carolina Panthers to be in the thick of race for the NFC South, but that’s the case as the New Orleans Saints lead the division with a 4-6 record. And if the Saints lose to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, it will be either the Falcons or the Panthers atop the division.
Even with a 2-6 record, the Atlanta Falcons are just two games behind the division-leading New Orleans Saints in the race for the NFC South crown.
It almost seems impossible that the Falcons mathematically still have a chance to win the NFC South and advance to the playoffs, but that’s an indictment on how poor the division has been this season.