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 Post subject: The line has been drawn
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2005 3:41 pm 
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Two weeks left with Tampa & Carolina two of our toughest opponents on the year and our playoff hopes hang in the balance. Here is how it breaks down.

Standings (Wild Card Teams)
Tampa (9-5)
Washington (8-6)
Atlanta (8-6)
Dallas (8-6)
Minnesota (8-6)

Carolina & New York are no longer relevant as they pretty have their divisions locked down. For this post this assumption will be held. For Atlanta a loss means the end of their season. Since we already know who we play and that they are must win games I won't get into that. The consolation prize for Atlanta this year is a 9-7 record and having back to back winning seasons for the first time ever!

Minnesota: We have the tie breaker against them with a win. This officially makes Minnesota irrelevant (assuming Atlanta wins their last two games).

Dallas: Since Dallas and Atlanta didn't play this year the tie breaker goes to conference record. Dallas is currently 6-4 with 2 conference games on their schedule (Carolina & St. Louis). I'm thinking Dallas loses to Carolina and wins against St. Louis putting them at 7-5 on the season. Atlanta will also be at 7-5. The next step is common games played (minimum 4) and in this case this step is skipped Atlanta & Dallas have 3 common games (SEA, DET, PHI) and even though Dallas played Philly twice Atlanta did not. The next step is strength of victory. Atlanta has a 12 point margin of victory vs. Dallas with 9.
Tie-Breaker: Atlanta

Washington: We will work throught his one the same way as Dallas. This one is simply though. Washington is 8-2 in the conference and at best Atlanta is 7-5 in the conference at best. The only way we get past Washington is to finish with a better record then them.
Tie-Breaker: Washington

Tampa: This scenario assumes a H2H standing of 1-1 between Atlanta and Tampa. Next is conference schedule. Tampa is currently 7-3 meaning that New Orleans has to figure out a way to beat Tampa (unlikely). If this happens the next step is in common games. In this scenario Atlanta wins with an 8-4 record vs. Tampa's 7-5 record in commong games.
Tie-Breaker: Atlanta (Assuming Tampa Loses to New Orleans, otherwise Tampa holds it)

So..... In a nut shell if Atlanta is tied with Tampa, Dallas, and Minnesota at the end of the season we will move on as at least the #2 Wild Card. If there is a three way tie that includes Washington & Tampa we are for all intents and purposes eliminated.

Believe it or not Atlanta can STILL get into the playoffs with a loss in the final two games. If Atlanta, Dallas, and Minnesota lose once and Washington loses both games we are in the playoffs. If we lose a game Dallas & Minny must lose and Washington must lose both of their remaining games.

How I see it shaping up.

Atlanta: I don't see us beating both Carolina and Tampa. I think we drop the Tampa game and beat Carolina.
Final Record: 9-7

Washington: It's kinda hard to call which way the Skins go as they could lose to both Philly & New York. But Philly is ridiculously bad right now. I think Washington also goes 1-1 to end the season (also officially ending Atlanta's playoff hopes).
Final Record: 9-7

Dallas: Like everyone else I see Dallas dropping 1 and winning 1. I doubt Dallas beats Carolina but they should take St. Louis.
Final Record: 9-7

Tampa: I do think Tampa wins both their games. I don't see Atlanta winning in Tampa and the Saints are a complete dissarray now.
Final Record: 11-5

Minnesota: Even though they are pretty much irrelevant (save for an Atlanta loss). Minny finishes at Baltimore and Chicago. If Boller plays like he did the last two weeks Minny goes down 0-2 to finish the season.
Final Record: 8-8

Final NFC Playoff Teams:
Carolina, New York, Seattle, Chicago
Wild Card: Washington & Tampa

*Washington holds the tie breaker with a 2-0 head to head with Dallas.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2005 8:01 pm 
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It basically breaks down that the Falcons need to win both games to really have a serious shot at making the playoffs. GOing 9-7 means a lot of very unlikely things have to fall into place for us to make it.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2005 8:46 pm 
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I know that after the season the Falcons have had, the playoffs may be a bit of a reach. I do think that the season overall will have been a success if the Falcons can pull out one more win. The Tampa game is a much bigger one for the Falcons future, than just a chance of a wildcard slot, meaning that they need to put a mental hurdle behind them. They are a better team than the Tampa team and they need to prove it to themselves more than anyone else. Other than defenseve speed the Falcons out talent the Tampa team on both sides of the ball. It's just that the Falcons have yet to take the intimidation factor from Tampa.

Like the Steelers of the 70's, or the Patriots of the 00's, when the Falcons decide to refuse to let the ghosts' of past defeats determine their contest with this Tampa team , they will step into a new era of division play. All of the great teams we know today had years even decades of futility before they stepped into the light. There is a doorway in Tampa and on Saturday the Falcons need to step through it and put to rest 30+ years of could have beens.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2005 1:16 am 
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Bart-B4-Vick wrote:
I know that after the season the Falcons have had, the playoffs may be a bit of a reach. I do think that the season overall will have been a success if the Falcons can pull out one more win. The Tampa game is a much bigger one for the Falcons future, than just a chance of a wildcard slot, meaning that they need to put a mental hurdle behind them. They are a better team than the Tampa team and they need to prove it to themselves more than anyone else. Other than defenseve speed the Falcons out talent the Tampa team on both sides of the ball. It's just that the Falcons have yet to take the intimidation factor from Tampa.

Like the Steelers of the 70's, or the Patriots of the 00's, when the Falcons decide to refuse to let the ghosts' of past defeats determine their contest with this Tampa team , they will step into a new era of division play. All of the great teams we know today had years even decades of futility before they stepped into the light. There is a doorway in Tampa and on Saturday the Falcons need to step through it and put to rest 30+ years of could have beens.


Terrific post man, I couldn't agree more.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2005 1:48 pm 
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Ditto

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