While it may still be only week eight the Atlanta Falcons are playing a must-win game against Carolina for the NFC South division lead. While Carolina is still a game behind Atlanta they hold the current tiebreaker over Tampa and a win in Atlanta would tie the three teams with Carolina holding the advantage over both the Bucs and Falcons giving them sole possession of first place.
A win for the Falcons puts the Panthers two games behind them and puts them ahead of the Bucs by a game with a winnable schedule ahead. Winning this game would establish Atlanta as a real NFC South contender.
While whoever does eventually win the division seems destined for a first-round exit Atlanta deserves immense credit simply for being in the race whatsoever. Objectively the Saints and Bucs came into the season with far more established talent and the Panthers had a comparable roster.
All of this to say win or lose on Sunday Arthur Smith and the Falcons deserve immense credit for what they are accomplishing. A feat that is going to become even more impressive with three Falcons, in particular, stepping up against Carolina.