The Atlanta Falcons missed a golden opportunity in week 12. They were one play away from snagging a win in Washington D.C. right before the division-leading Buccaneers came up short in overtime in Cleveland.
As bad as that hurt, they still kept pace in the division but a loss this week will seriously put them behind the eight ball as the season enters the final stretch. It is simply a must-win for the Falcons.
Sunday’s game against the Steelers is a must-win for the Atlanta Falcons
The Atlanta Falcons somehow keep losing while also sitting right on the heels of the Buccaneers for the top spot in the NFC South. They have had luck going their way up until this point but this is when they cannot mess around anymore and must go out and make a statement.
Look at the situation the Falcons would be in if they come up short against the Steelers. They already have one more loss than the Bucs since the Falcons have not had their bye week yet, that already puts you at a disadvantage because the Buccaneers have an extra game to play with.
If you add another loss to the record then the Buccaneers would have two fewer losses before they even play on Monday Night Football against the Saints.
That means you would be guaranteed to be either in third place in the division if the Saints won or basically two games back of the Bucs. Either way, you are in a bad situation.
Then you add on the fact that the Falcons will be going into their bye week, which means they couldn’t do anything to help themselves. They would just have to sit back and hope that the 49ers continue dominating and take down the Bucs in week 14. If they don’t, then you essentially can kiss the Falcons’ playoff hopes goodbye.
Taking down the Steelers, at the very least, would guarantee that you stay within a game of Tampa Bay, and even though Tampa holds the tie-breaker, that is only temporary as they still have to play the Falcons in the final week of the regular season. Although, Tampa does have an advantage when it comes to record within the division.
So, Atlanta has two choices, beat Pittsburgh and keep the division within reach, at the very least, or lose to Pittsburgh and watch two Bucs games from the couch where they could essentially put a stamp on the division.