With the Falcons eliminated from postseason contention, the team’s season finale will be this Sunday against the Buccaneers. Atlanta hasn’t topped Tampa Bay since Tom Brady joined the division, and there is a possibility that the Falcons will fall once again in Week 18, which would tie the record for all-time wins without a loss against one team for Tom Brady.
However, even with the average fan expecting the Bucs to win this one, Vegas oddsmakers see the home team as betting favorites. Depending on the outlet, the Falcons are anywhere from 3.5 to 4-point favorites. Despite reports suggesting the Buccaneers will be playing their starters, that spread suggests something entirely different. I’m not quite sure who will come out of Week 18 victorious, but the Falcons’ 2023 NFL Draft position fluctuates significantly depending on Sunday’s slate of games.
Below is the current draft order, including the team’s strength of schedule:
Denver Broncos –> Seattle Seahawks
LA Rams –> Detroit Lions
Las Vegas Raiders
New Orleans Saints –>Philadelphia Eagles
According to Tankathon, tiebreakers are decided by the teams’ strength of schedule, division tiebreakers, conference tiebreakers, interconference tiebreakers, and a coin toss. At this point, the Falcons could land as high as No. 6 and as low as the No. 9 overall pick. If my math is correct, these are the scenarios, accounting for some slight discrepancies based on each teams’ strength of schedule.
- Bucs and Rams win: Falcons get No. 6
- Bucs win and Rams lose: Falcons get No. 7
- Bucs lose, Panthers or Raiders win: Falcons get No. 8
- Bucs, Panthers, and Raiders lose: Falcons get No. 9
Again, please leave room for slight margins of error. However, the Falcons shouldn’t be concerned with landing the No. 6 or No. 9 pick; the goal should be to build as much momentum as possible heading into the offseason and 2023 campaign. With Desmond Ridder‘s final start coming against Tom Brady, he could immediately become a fan favorite if he’s the first quarterback in team history to defeat the GOAT. Arthur Smith will be working his absolute hardest to pull out a victory; he’s not worried about the team’s 2023 NFL Draft pick.
Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire
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