Who has the advantage in the final weeks in the NFC South?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Atlanta Falcons
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Atlanta Falcons / Alex Slitz/GettyImages

This week will be Atlanta's best chance to claim the lead back in the NFC South. Tampa will take on a Green Bay team that is going to be very motivated after a loss to New York. New Orleans will play that same New York game and will be heavily favored.

Both teams are far tougher opponents than Atlanta facing the one-win Carolina Panthers. Losing to Carolina would be unforgivable for Atlanta and should end the division race for the Falcons. Carolina's defense is bad enough for the Falcons to simply run the ball and control the clock in this game.

There isn't going to be a need to allow Desmond Ridder to turn the ball over. Short passes, running the football, and leaning on the defense will win this game. If Tampa loses to the Packers as expected and Atlanta wins they will be back in control of the NFC South.

The Falcons will have the Colts, Bears, and Saints remaining on their schedule. For the Saints, the remaining schedule is the Giants, Bucs, Rams, and Falcons. All of these games should be viewed as coin flips with only the Giants being a clear underdog.

It is on the table that the Saints and Falcons end the season playing for the division. Tampa's remaining schedule will be the Packers, Jaguars, Saints, and Panthers. Outside of the game facing Carolina, it is fair to expect Tampa to be an underdog in each of the three games.

With all of this in mind, it is clear that the Falcons have the advantage of closing out the year. Playing the Bears, Panthers, and Saints gives them the inside track while the Saints and Bucs face far tougher teams.

Whether or not the Falcons are able to take advantage of their schedule remains to be seen. With losses to the Vikings and Cardinals already Atlanta fans are well aware under Arthur Smith no game can be taken for granted.