Falcons Flying Near Playoff Picture

Grab the Jamal Anderson jersey out of the storage shed and ask Alexa to play some MC Hammer, because the dirty birds are once again too legit to quit. Sort of. As of the end of November, the Falcons are 5-6 and firmly in the hunt for an NFC Wild Card. Not bad for a set of birds who many experts predicted would finish amongst the league’s bottom feeders.

"It's all you can ask for. If you tell me in the beginning of the year that we're right in the mix in December, that's where you want to be,” quarterback Matt Ryan said following Sunday’s win against Jacksonville. “I think our best football is still in front of us. We're going to get there. But, with six games to go and we're right in the mix, with December starting next week, sign me up.”

Though they started the season 1-3, the Falcons have since clawed their way back into the playoff picture. They have the same record as Minnesota, which currently has the NFC’s final Wild Card spot.

Their five wins also already exceed the total number of wins they had in 2020, and there are still six games to be played.

“It says a lot about this team that we're chipping away. We're right in the mix,” Atlanta coach Arthur Smith said Sunday. “We have six games to go, and we're playing meaningful football in December. That's where you want to be.”

Of Atlanta’s remaining six games, half are against teams with losing records and all but one come against NFC teams. The schedule makeup loosely allows the Falcons to control their own playoff destiny.

"I'm ready for that. It's going to be a fun couple of weeks," added Ryan.

A few wins would go a long way towards completing the season turnaround from flop to fun, courtesy of a postseason berth. Otherwise, they’ll have to pray just to make it today. Right, Hammer?


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Anthony is a former high school basketball intramural champion who played a leading role in creating two offspring. He spends his weekends hoping for an MTV Rock N' Jock revival. Follow him on X (@OhioAF).