There has never been a playoff game played in Mercedes-Benz Stadium since its inception in 2017. The Falcons made the playoffs that year but traveled to Philadelphia where they lost to the Eagles in heartbreaking fashion. That drought may end this year.
Coming into their Week 7 contest against the Buccaneers, Atlanta sat with a 25% chance of winning the NFC South. If they fell in Tampa, that figure would’ve dropped to 18% or rise to 38% with a win.
Now, the Falcons sit atop the division in the driver’s seat with full control over their postseason dreams. According to the New York Times, the Dirty Birds have a 70% chance of making the playoffs and are the odds-on favorite to take the NFC South (+110), according to DraftKings.
The Falcons haven’t made the postseason in five seasons, but that trend seems likely to end this year. Not only are they trending toward a playoff berth, but they’ll also host the first-ever playoff game in Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
There are still four division contests left to go. One with each of the Panthers and Buccaneers. Carolina has yet to capture their first win in the Bryce Young era, and Atlanta should be able to sweep. The Bucs are a formidable opponent, so splitting wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. You have to like the Falcons odds though, given the Week 14 contest will be in Atlanta.
The two matchups with the Saints will prove critical in the Falcons’ postseason hopes. The first will be in Atlanta after a bye week; it’s as close to a must-win game as there could be. The Falcons don’t want to have to go into New Orleans in the final game of the year in a do-or-die situation because the Superdome is one of the toughest places to play in the entire NFL.
As we sit here nearly halfway through the season, the Falcons are in full control of their destiny. As long as they continue to take care of their business within the division, they’ll punch their tickets to the playoffs.
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