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NFL Playoff Picture 2011: Falcons Still Up For Wild Card Run

The Atlanta Falcons went from top-four standing in the NFC playoff race to scrapping for a wild card spot, and all on one Michael Turner stuff. With the loss to the New Orleans Saints, Atlanta falls to 5-4, putting them a game out of the NFC playoffs and two games out of the division lead.

The good news: the Falcons hold a head-to-head tiebreaker over the 6-3 Detroit Lions. The 6-3 Chicago Bears hold the same advantage over the Falcons, though. The 5-4 Dallas Cowboys and 4-5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the only other realistic competitors for those two tickets. Not all that much good news in there.

  1. Packers, 8-0
  2. 49ers, 8-1
  3. Saints, 7-3
  4. Giants, 6-3
  5. Lions, 6-3
  6. Bears, 6-3
  7. Cowboys, 5-4
  8. Falcons, 5-4
  9. Buccaneers, 4-5

The actual really good news: the Falcons have the easiest remaining schedule of any NFC wild card hopeful, unless if the Giants lose the NFC East lead. With games left against the Jaguars, Vikings, and Panthers, there's room to make up ground ... but there are also games against the Texans and Saints left.

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