Falcons can eliminate Bears from playoff contention with a win on Sunday

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As Arthur Smith would describe it, the Falcons are right in the middle of a playoff race. Regardless if you think that’s true, Atlanta is technically still capable of making the postseason. According to FiveThirtyEight, the Dirty Birds have a 14% chance of playing meaningful games in the new year. At this point, though, the Falcons don’t control their own destiny; they’re one of several clubs that could win out and still not get into the playoffs.

The Falcons, like every other NFL team, are mathematically alive in its division, but Atlanta has the chance to end Chicago’s season prematurely. The Week 11 contest could result in the Bears being eliminated from the NFC North race if they lose on Sunday and the Vikings win. A defeat would drop the Bears to 3-8 and is the first playoff elimination scenario of the NFL season.

The reality is that the Falcons are in the same position as they were last season. Atlanta is on the cusp of making the playoffs but also on the edge of a top draft pick. At one point last year, the team sat at 6-7 with a real chance to solidify their playoff odds but fell to a Niners team, then again to the Bills, effectively ending their season.

The Falcons currently sit with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2023 draft cycle, according to Tankathon. But they are also 10th in the NFC playoff picture. Atlanta still has a chance of making the postseason, and could even win the division. They sit just one game back of the Buccaneers for the lead, but they could also easily finish with a top 10 selection in the draft. With seven games to go, the outcomes are vast. More than likely, the team will end up with around 6-8 wins, similar to Arthur Smith’s first season at the helm.

Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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