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Falcons could deal blow to Saints' playoff hopes

Atlanta is going for its 11th win of the year.

Al Messerschmidt

The Atlanta Falcons can damage New Orleans' playoff chances with a victory over the Saints in the Georgia Dome on Thursday night. The Saints come into the game at 5-6 overall, a game behind a group of teams at 6-5 that are fighting for the last Wild Card spot.

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan says his team isn't worried about how a Falcons win might affect the Saints. "I don’t think you can worry about what other people have going on. We have enough issues ourselves," he said.

At 10-1, the Falcons don't have the same playoff concerns -- they are in line for No. 1 seed in the NFC and could clinch a playoff spot as early as this weekend.

Green Bay currently has a hold on one Wild Card spot at 7-4, while three teams are sitting at 6-5. The Saints are one of three NFC teams at 5-6 and can ill afford more losses at this stage of the regular season.

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