Atlanta Falcons playoff hopes up in smoke after loss to Buccaneers


The Atlanta Falcons’ hopes of reaching the playoffs have gone up in smoke after suffering a fifth straight defeat at the hands of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

To make the playoffs, the Atlanta Falcons needed to find a way of beating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in turn ending a four-game losing slump. But after Jameis Winston found Mike Evans for a go-ahead touchdown with 1:39 left in regulation, the sobering reality hit that the Falcons will be sitting out of the playoffs once again.

After starting the season 5-0 with what looked to be a favorable schedule, the Falcons hit a slump they have been unable to snap out of. Since beating the Washington Redskins in Week 5, they have won just once in seven attempts. The lone victory, a 10-7 win over the Tennessee Titans, was hardly encouraging either.

READ MORE: What did we learn in Falcons loss to Bucs?

At 6-6, somehow the Falcons are just a game out of the wild-card spots. The Seattle Seahawks are in the conference’s sixth seed at 7-5, and the Minnesota Vikings have the fifth seed at 8-4. Forget about the Vikings; they own the head-to-head tiebreaker.

And you can probably forget about the Seahawks, too. The only similarity between these two teams is how close the records are. But the reality is that Seattle is a team getting hot at the right time after dismantling Minnesota 38-7 on the road, while Atlanta is a team with confidence levels at rock bottom. The Falcons are running on empty, and it seems the playoff run has come a year too soon.

There are just four games left in the season. The Falcons play the 12-0 Carolina Panthers twice, and also take on the Jacksonville Jaguars and New Orleans Saints. There’s no reason to believe they can take down the undefeated Panthers, and the other two won’t be easy for the ailing Falcons either.

This game was a must-win, but Dan Quinn’s men fell short. Again.

And the postseason dream will fall just short.