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NFL schedule 2012: Top seed in NFC should be No. 1 goal for Falcons

With a bigger lead in their division than any other team, the No. 1 goal for the Falcons should be holding off the many teams that are in pursuit of home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Wesley Hitt

Although the Falcons suffered their first loss of the season in Week 10, they're still very much in control of their own destiny and playoff hopes. With a three-game lead over the Buccaneers in the NFC South, the largest lead for any division leader, the Falcons just have to avoid a massive collapse in the final seven weeks to earn a pass to the playoffs.

The team can bounce back from their loss in Week 11 by handing the Cardinals their sixth consecutive defeat in a game that is set to kickoff at 1 p.m. ET. At the same time, the Buccaneers will be playing the Panthers in Carolina.

Perhaps more important to the Falcons, though, will be the performances of other division leaders in pursuit of home-field advantage through the playoffs. Despite losing in Week 10, the one-game lead over the Bears for the top record in the NFC was preserved as the Texans earned a win over the NFC North leaders.

The Bears have no easy task in Week 11 either, as they'll travel to face the San Francisco 49ers, another division leader in pursuit of a top seed.

The full NFL schedule for Week 11 is as follows. All times are Eastern.

Thursday, Nov. 15

Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills, 8:20 p.m., NFL Network

Sunday, Nov. 18

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m., FOX

Cleveland Browns at Dallas Cowboys, 1 p.m., CBS

Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions, 1 p.m., FOX

Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans, 1 p.m., CBS

Arizona Cardinals at Atlanta Falcons, 1 p.m., FOX

Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs, 1 p.m., CBS

Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins, 1 p.m., FOX

New York Jets at St. Louis Rams, 1 p.m., CBS

New Orleans Saints at Oakland Raiders, 4:05 p.m., FOX

San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos, 4:25 p.m., CBS

Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots, 4:25 p.m., CBS

Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers, 8:20 p.m., NBC

Monday, Nov. 19

Chicago Bears at San Francisco 49ers, 8:30 p.m.

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