Atlanta Falcons: New playoff rule will help teams identity in the future


The Atlanta Falcons finished the year with a 7-9 record finishing 10th in the conference. As the collective bargaining agreement is ongoing between the NFL and NFLPA, one of the proposed rule changes is seven teams from each conference making the playoffs.

This could be an advantage for the Atlanta Falcons as they have been around average to mediocre in the last two seasons and looking to get back to the playoffs.

The Atlanta Falcons would have been the new seventh seed a couple of times during Matt Ryans‘s career giving him eight playoff appearances. With the new rule changes, the two seed would no longer have the bye week and would play the seven seed on wildcard weekend.

If this proposed playoff format was in place earlier, how would this benefit from the Atlanta Falcons? In the new playoff format, the Atlanta Falcons would have made the playoffs as the seven seed during the 2009 and 2015 NFL seasons.

During the 2009 NFL season, the Falcons finished 9-7 clinching back to back winning seasons for the first time in franchise history. They also won three straight games to end the season ending on a high note. During the 2015 NFL season, the Falcons looked red hot starting the year 5-0 but finishing with an 8-8 record.

If the Falcons went to the playoffs as the seven seed during the 2009 NFL season their playoff schedule would have been a daunting task. They would have played the 12-4 Minnesota Vikings in Minnesota when they had Brett Farve. If they somehow pulled off the upset, they would travel to New Orleans and take on the Saints who eventually won the Super Bowl with an Asterix because of the Bounty Gate scandal.

If the Atlanta Falcons went to the playoffs in 2015 as the seven seed, they would have played the Arizona Cardinals in Phoenix. If they upset the Cardinals that year, they would then travel to Charlotte to play the 15-1 Carolina Panthers. The Atlanta Falcons more than likely would not have made a deep playoff run those years because they would have had to play the top two seeds in the wildcard and divisional round.

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Making the playoffs these two years could have changed the opinion of the Falcons because in the Matt Ryan era the only years the Falcons would not make the playoffs are 2013 and 2014 with the new proposed playoff format.