No you did not just read that wrong. The Falcons can actually win the NFC south after the Panthers loss in the New Jersey Meadowlands Sunday night.
This has been a wild ride to be sure but what is most strange of all is that the Atlanta Falcons have a very good chance for a 1st round bye and a guaranteed home game in the Georgia Dome. The reason this is such huge news is because this is the same Atlanta Falcons squad that went 7-1 at home this year.
So here is the deal: Win and then see what Carolina does. The Panthers play in the Superdome sunday vurses a Saints team fighting for respectability and to avoid a losing season. The Falcons have what appears to be a good match-up against the 2-14 St. Louis Rams to close out the regular season. So if the Birds win and the cats lose then we take the NFC south and the #2 seed in the playoffs. If we lose we take either wildcard spot.
I am a bit torn if I really want the Falcons taking the 2 spot because I am not sold that a week off is all that good for a team that is pretty healthy and seems to be playing really good football right now. But, I trust Mike Smith and I know how well prepared his teams have been all year and I like the idea of playing either the Panthers or even the Cowboys in the dome.
Playoff picture: If you didn’t get my drift in the last paragraph I am going to spell it out here. I don’t respect the No. 3 or No. 4 seeds in the NFC. Sorry but I don’t think many will argue that the Vikings/Bears or the Cardinals are making many teams run for the hills this time of year. If the Panthers do lose to the Saints and the Cowboys do make the playoffs like I feel they will both knock off the weaker teams and set up some real marquee match ups. Check this one out:
Dallas at NY Giants: I really love division rivalry games, I really really do! The ‘Boys hate the Giants and the Giants hate the Cowboys. How good could that game be?Romo vs. Manning, or Demarcus Ware and that Cowboy defense vs. Antonio Pierce and the Giants, or Tashard Choice and Marion Barber III Vs. Brandon Jacobs and Derrick Ward and Ahmad Bradshaw. This one could be a slugfest like a couple of weeks ago in Dallas (something that could also help the birds).
Panthers at the Falcons: Round 3…. Fight! I can’t help but think about Mortal Kombat here because the way these two team play is like watching 2 teams that just play so well against each other and who are just so well matched and the question about who will rip the other guys head out of their body. How can you not love Steve Smith and Muhsin Mohammad vs. the improved Falcons Secondary, or how about that Panthers pass rush coming at Matt Ryan or about the Michael Turner and Jerious Norwood vs. DeAngelo Williams and Jon Stewart match-up? Just too many good stories.
I am getting ahead of myself here but these match-ups are just too good not to discuss.
The Bird Speaks!