Somehow, the Atlanta Falcons still have a legit shot at making the playoffs

Even after a loss to the 1-12 Carolina Panthers, the Atlanta Falcons could set themselves up to have a 70% chance at making the playoffs

Atlanta Falcons v Carolina Panthers
Atlanta Falcons v Carolina Panthers / Jared C. Tilton/GettyImages

The Atlanta Falcons just lost to their second one-win team in the second half of the season. It feels like everything is over and that we are on our way to yet another failure of a season.

However, that may not be true; the Falcons can set themselves up with a 70% chance at making the playoffs. All they have to do is beat Gardner Minshew, Justin Fields, and Derek Carr.

The Atlanta Falcons' playoff hopes are, somehow, still alive

Tell me this hasn't been the strangest NFL season... We have seen countless quarterback injuries, we have seen countless undrafted free agent quarterbacks perform at a high level, we have seen a team score zero points and 63 points in a span of four days, and now we are seeing an Atlanta Falcons team, which looks as broken as the NFL's suspension rules, still have a legitimate shot at making the playoffs.

The Falcons are coming off of a loss in which they only gave up three field goals but could only score seven points against a team that had won one game in 13 tries. Yet, based on projections, they could have a 70% chance to make the playoffs—if they can win out, which is a massive 'if.'

The good news: They play Gardner Minshew, who is 0-1 vs. the Falcons, Justin Fields, who is 0-1 vs. the Falcons, and Derek Carr, who is 0-3 vs. the Falcons.

The bad news: This is a Falcons team that cannot score points.

The toughest game will be at home against the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts have an offense that has put up some big numbers at times and a defense that creates a lot of turnovers (not a good thought against this Falcons' offense).

But games against the Bears and Saints will also be extremely challenging. Both are on the road, first in Chicago against a Bears team that has improved throughout the season. Their defense has been playing well so it might be a low-scoring game.

As for the Saints, they will want to get revenge and the division might be on the line. These games are always close and anything can happen.

So, while having a 70% chance at making the playoffs seems great, getting to the point where you have that 70% chance isn't likely. This team would have to find some groundbreaking fix to their offense if they want to win their last three games—there is no reason to believe that will happen.

It isn't unreasonable to say that the Falcons have a better shot at landing a top-five pick than making the playoffs.

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