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ESPN Playoff Predictor: Same Atlanta Falcons, Different Year

The Atlanta Falcons went from roughly a 75% chance of making the playoffs to under a 10% chance in the span of two weeks.

After dropping games to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the one-win Carolina Panthers, the Falcons find themselves on the outside looking in on the NFC Playoffs picture. At 6-8, three-straight wins would probably get them back into the playoffs at 9-8.

However, head coach Arthur Smith hasn’t won three-straight games in a season in his Falcons tenure.

Despite the change at quarterback from Desmond Ridder to Taylor Heinicke, confidence isn’t high that the Falcons can pull off the feat.

READ MORE: Desmond Ridder – ‘The Dumbest Play I’ve Made in My Career

ESPN simulated the final-three weeks of the regular season. It feels like the third verse is the same as the first. The Falcons finish 7-10 for the third straight year under Smith.

Week 16: Indianapolis Colts 17, Atlanta Falcons 16
Week 17: Atlanta Falcons 16, Chicago Bears 24
Week 18: Atlanta Falcons 21, New Orleans Saints 18

However, if there’s a silver lining for Falcons fans, their Week 18 win over the Saints knocks New Orleans out of the playoffs. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers win the NFC South at 8-9 and face the Dallas Cowboys.

Atlanta Falcons fans may be hoping for a 6-11 finish and a higher pick in the NFL Draft. 6-11 earned the No. 7 pick in the last two NFL Drafts. No. 7 is getting into shouting distance of quarterbacks Jayden Daniels, Drake Maye, and Caleb Williams. The Falcons chances of moving up in the draft increase with another top-ten pick.

Scott Kennedy
Scott Kennedy is an Atlanta native and 20 year media veteran including time as Director of Scouting at Scout.com, Managing Editor at 247Sports, VP Content Operations at Sports Illustrated and more. Scott has appeared as a recruiting and NFL Draft analyst on dozens of media including ESPN, NFL Network, USA Today, NY Times, and more.
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