The Atlanta Falcons have the toughest remaining schedule in the NFL. With a small lead in the wildcard race the Falcons are going to have to play their best football of the season in their next five games and that will start this week against the Vikings.
If the Atlanta Falcons hope to make the playoffs this year they are going to have to go 3-2 in their next five games against very tough competition. If the Falcons have any hope of winning their own division they will likely have to run the table against the toughest schedule left in the NFL.
The Falcons currently sit holding the second wildcard and would be the third team in their division to make the playoffs. The Saints and Panthers sit above the Falcons those teams will be the Falcon’s opponent in 3 of their final 5 games.
The Vikings and Tampa Bay Bucs will be the other two, with the Vikings being first up this week for the Falcons. Seeing a path to the playoffs for the Falcons looks far better than it did three weeks ago when the Falcons sat at .500 now they have a playoff spot and likely must win only 3 out of the final 5 to make it in.
Easier said then done when three of those games are against a top three seed in a tough NFC. The Vikings will face Atlanta this weekend. For the Falcons they are going to have to again rely on Matt Ryan and Julio Jones to make things happen against one of the best defenses in the League.
If you have watched the Vikings this season you know that they are tough on the run game and can be methodical on offense controlling the clock. This game is going to put a lot of pressure on the Falcon’s young defense to answer an experienced and talented Vikings unit.
Escaping with a win on Sunday would be huge for the Falcon’s playoff chances but it isn’t a must win considering that the Falcons will likely be favorites against Tampa Bay and Carolina and will have a good chance of splitting their matchups with the division rival Saints.
Winning against the Vikings may not be detrimental to the Falcon’s playoff hopes but it would reassure the team’s critics that the Falcons can still play with the top teams in the NFC and are a threat to return to the Super Bowl yet again.