Atlanta Falcons have yet another chance to slip back into playoff picture

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Atlanta Falcons
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Atlanta Falcons / Kara Durrette/GettyImages

To illustrate just how much of a hot mess the NFC South is the Atlanta Falcons lost the biggest game of their season and still will have yet another chance to slip back into first place. The Tampa Bay Bucs hold the tiebreaker and would be in the playoffs if the season ended today.

However, they will take on the red-hot Packers this week while the Falcons will be taking on a one-win Carolina Panthers team. A loss for Tampa puts the Falcons back in the playoffs no matter what happens with the Saints. Atlanta currently holds the division tiebreaker over New Orleans and would be the division leader at the end of the week.

If Atlanta Falcons fans weren't the ones in this division, they would be among those grumbling about this division having a playoff spot. Barring a miracle whoever wins this division wins the right to be blown out by Dallas or Philly.

Even in a home playoff game any of these three teams are likely to be double-digit underdogs to either NFC East team. Despite this winning the division and hosting a playoff game is of the utmost importance for this roster.

It would be enough to save Arthur Smith's job and give the Falcons young roster playoff experience. Granted it wouldn't be a pleasant one but it would be playoff experience nonetheless. Atlanta losing a game this week to Carolina likely isn't going to push them completely out of the race but it will be another stain on Smith's resume.

The Falcons continue to find ways to lose and the NFC South simply refuses to move on. With Atlanta still having games against Carolina and New Orleans they very much control their own destiny. With the obvious question being would they be better off staying home and focusing on a pivotal off-season?