Atlanta Falcons game by game predictions: Week 17

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The Falcons wrap up their season with a road matchup against Tom Brady and company in what could have significant playoff implications. Everybody expects the Bucs to have locked up a playoff spot by this point in the season, but both teams could be in a must-win situation, making this a playoff game before the playoffs begin.

Chase Irle’s Prediction

The Falcons second meeting with the Bucs and final game of the season wraps up a grueling five-game stretch, and if they are going to make it to the playoffs, I think they have to win at least three of these games. I currently have them 2-2 and 8-7 on the season. With seven teams making the playoffs now, 9-7 is probably good enough to sneak their way in, but they have to find a way to beat Tampa Bay on the road.

Like I said when predicting the last game against the Buccaneers, I’m not buying all the Super Bowl hype surrounding Tampa Bay. Brady is declining, and even though he might have the best weapons of his entire career, the defense and offensive line are not anywhere near what he had in New England over his career. I still think they make the playoffs, but they are far from unbeatable, and the Falcons should be able to split their series with them this season. I had them losing in a blowout at home two weeks ago, but that was in an extremely tough spot coming off two wins and a lot of travel. Now, I have them coming off back-to-back losses with not nearly as bad of a travel schedule. They find a way to pull out a close one in a must-win contest that earns them one of the final playoff spots.

Falcons 31, Buccaneers 27

Record (9-7)

 Jake Gordon’s Prediction

Like New Orleans, I had Tampa taking the first matchup. Jameis and Chris Godwin lit up MBS in 2019, but these Buccaneers have more hype than they’ve ever seen. The secondary is suspect, and Tom Brady is going to have to stay upright for 16 games in a new system. This game famously ended with Debo Jones housing a Jameis pick-six, and a few weeks later, Tom Brady’s season ended in almost the exact same fashion against the Titans. There won’t be as many dramatics this time, Falcons win a do or die game and secure a spot in the playoffs.

Falcons 51, Tampa Bay 20

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