NFL Playoff Picture: Falcons still playing for home field, 1st round bye

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

The Packers and 49ers didn't cooperate with the Falcons on Sunday, but Atlanta can clinch the No. 1 seed in the NFC with a win vs. Detroit this week.

The Atlanta Falcons made a statement on Sunday, punishing the New York Giants in a 34-0 win in the Georgia Dome. However, even at 12-2, the Falcons are still playing for home field advantage and a first-round bye in the NFC playoffs.

The Falcons could have clinched with a win and losses by the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers. However, both of those teams won on Sunday, so the playoff seeding in the NFC is still up in the air.

The good news for Atlanta is that scenarios where they fall out of the top two in the NFC are growing fewer and fewer. If the Falcons can beat the Detroit Lions on the road next weekend, they will clinch the No. 1 seed, regardless of what the Packers and 49ers do.

The Falcons and Lions play on Saturday, Dec. 22, from Ford Field in Detroit. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET.

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