The Atlanta Falcons still remain in the playoff hunt despite another heartbreaking loss in a game Atlanta should have won and taken over the NFC South lead. Instead, Arthur Smith’s poor decision and Mariota’s predictable interception dropped the Falcons to 5-7 and kept the Bucs atop by far the worst division in the league.
It isn’t a stretch to say that every team in the division is still very much in this race. Even a Carolina Panthers team that has already traded star players and is playing musical chairs at the quarterback position.
A win against the Steelers gives the Falcons to put themselves back on pace with Tampa and keep their playoff hopes alive. Tampa is taking on a New Orleans team with a history of giving Tom Brady problems and plenty of motivation to pull themselves back into the division race.
While Atlanta may be the furthest thing from a real playoff contender they do have a very real chance to host a home playoff game if they can beat the Steelers and Saints over the next two weeks. Starting with a Pittsburgh team that leaves plenty of room to believe the Falcons should be able to get back on the right track in week thirteen.