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The Falcons' Playoff Chances Dropped To 22.7 Percent With Steelers' Loss

It goes without saying that the Atlanta Falcons' playoff chances took a hit with their loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers last Sunday but thanks to the NY Times NFL Blog, The Fifth Down, we now know just how much.

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Since 2002, only 22.7 percent of NFL teams that lose in Week 1 have gone on to make the playoffs. So among the 16 teams that stumbled to an 0-1 start, you can expect only three or four of them to be making playoff plans. Will the Falcons be one of them? It will need to start this Sunday.

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If the Falcons' fail to get back on track against the Cardinals at the Georgia Dome, their playoff odds get sliced in half. Since 2002, only 11.3 percent of teams that get off to an 0-2 start have rebounded to earn a playoff berth.

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Can the Falcons make the playoffs even if they start 0-2? Absolutely, but history has shown they better take care of business against the Cardinals if they want to avoid an uphill climb.

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Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.