PLAYOFF BUZZ: If the playoffs started today . . .





By MICHAEL CUNNINGHAM

NFC top contenders

The Falcons (11-2), the only NFC team to have clinched a playoff berth, would be the No. 1 seed with a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the conference playoffs. Atlanta would open the playoffs on Jan. 12 or 13 against the lowest-seeded winner from the NFC Wild Card round.

The 49ers (9-3-1) would be the No. 2 seed with a first-round bye. San Francisco would open the playoffs on Jan. 12 or 13 with a home game against the highest-seeded winner from the NFC Wild Card round.

NFC Wild Card picture

The third-seeded Packers (9-4) would play host to sixth-seeded Bears (8-5) on Jan. 5 or 6. The Seahawks, seeded No. 5, would play at the fourth-seeded Giants (8-5) on Jan. 5 or 6.

The other teams with a realistic chance of still earning a Wild Card berth are the Redskins (7-6), Cowboys (7-6), Vikings (7-6) and Rams (6-6-1). The Buccaneers (6-7) and Saints (5-8) also are mathematically still alive.

How Vegas views the Falcons

The Falcons are 7-to-2 to win the NFC, the third choice behind the 49ers (2-to-1) and Packers (11-to-4) and ahead of the Giants (5-to-1).

Quote of the day

“This is not a great formula for going into the playoffs, (the Falcons) giving up 100-yard days week in and week out running the ball. … They’re putting so much pressure on (quarterback) Matt Ryan, he’s got to be perfect every game.”

— NBC analyst Tony Dungy

Falcons playoff tickets

Season-ticket and club seat holders should have already received playoffs ticket information.

The Falcons said a limited number of tickets will be available to the general public through Ticketmaster on a date yet to be determined. There will be a limit of eight tickets per purchase.

AFC top contenders

The Texans (11-2), who have clinched a playoff berth, would be the No. 1 seed with a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the conference playoffs. Houston would open the playoffs on Jan. 12 or 13 against the lowest-seeded winner from the AFC Wild Card round.

The Patriots (10-3), who have clinched a playoff berth, would be the No. 2 seed with a first-round bye. New England would open the playoffs on Jan. 12 or 13 with a home game against the highest-seeded winner from the AFC Wild Card round.

AFC Wild Card picture

The third-seeded Broncos (10-3), who have clinched a playoff berth, would play host to the sixth-seeded Steelers (7-6) on Jan. 5 or 6. The Colts (9-4), seeded No. 5, would play at the Ravens (9-4) on Jan. 5 or 6.

The Bengals (7-6) are the other team with a realistic chance of still earning a Wild Card berth. The Jets (6-7), Browns (5-8), Chargers (5-8), Bills (5-8) and Dolphins (5-8) also are still alive.

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Get instant updates on Twitter at AJCFalcons and you can join the Facebook Fan page at AJC Falcons.

41 comments Add your comment

Jimmy

December 12th, 2012
7:18 am

If the playoffs started today, the Falcons would probably end up hosting the Giants. I wonder if they have a vanilla gameplan on both sides of the ball and throw something different at the G-Men in the playoff game???

And first again for the second consecutive blog post ever! Might go out and buy me some lotto tickets! ha!

Ed

December 12th, 2012
7:31 am

It will be interesting to see what sort of defensive plan Mike Nolan’s unit comes out with considering the Falcons may have to play the Giants in the divisional round. I think the offense will play more quick tempo and try to get Matt Ryan comfortably in the no huddle.

Jimmy

December 12th, 2012
7:54 am

Orlando Bedwetter, Do you like cute white boys like me??

Ed

December 12th, 2012
7:55 am

The Falcons are a One and Done playoff team , and of course he loves us Honkies with blue eue and tight butt cheeks.

Falcon Fan since 1966

December 12th, 2012
8:48 am

I’m just hoping,wishing, praying that the Carolina game was a WE’RE NOT SHOWING YOU ANY OF OUR TRICKS type of thing. The play calling was terrible. The execution was terrible. We’ve all seen the Birds when they were on fire, and that’s what they HAVE to be all the way through the post season. Somebody has got to build a fire under these guys.

North FLA Falcon

December 12th, 2012
8:49 am

What happened to the Freak defense that befuddled Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers? What happened to our “explosive offense” that we supposedly got with Julio Jones?

Falcon Fan since 1966

December 12th, 2012
8:53 am

Boys Boys — When you’re pinned down under fire in a sh!t hole like the Mekong Delta everybody is the same color.

baytown

December 12th, 2012
9:01 am

The falcons are tired of this disrespect from the media! they will beat san fran to win the nfc and go to the super bowl===book it!

North FLA Falcon

December 12th, 2012
9:38 am

We will play the winner of an upset in the first round, such as the Seahawks, in the Dome in the 2nd round of the playoffs. The would set up a NFC championship in the Dome vs the 49ers and that would be a heck of a game.

Eggsactly

December 12th, 2012
9:45 am

If the playoffs started today……The Falcon’s would be at home, losers, and eliminated from the playoffs after their first game again! We all know that Matty Ice is usually thawing out when the outside temp goes below 50!

Falcon James

December 12th, 2012
10:14 am

Thankful the playoffs aren’t starting today.

Keeping it real

December 12th, 2012
10:15 am

This team goes the way of Matty Ice,if hes own then look out,if hes not,well, we all know about global warming,and its effect!

BIGBEN42

December 12th, 2012
10:24 am

The Falcon’s have had almost a whole season to try and stop the run.They still can’t do it.THIS, AND NOT BEING ABLE TO RUN THEMSELVES,will be their downfall in the playoffs.

Esquire

December 12th, 2012
10:46 am

I think that the miserable truth will be self-evident this weekend, that our team’s streak of luck ran out a few weeks back and that we are indeed a mediocre team.

Hate to say it, but winning the division title will be the apex of our accomplishments this year, but it’s at least something to build on for next year.

WE USED TO BE THE MIGHTY, MIGHTY FALCONS!

BUT NOT ANY………MORE!

Mike is Back

December 12th, 2012
10:56 am

We have had enough talking from the players…IT’S TIME FOR THE BIRDS TO STEP UP!

1stn10

December 12th, 2012
11:40 am

I know the game Sunday is not a “must win” but a win sure would make me feel better about their chances in the playoffs.

Never First, Just the Best.

December 12th, 2012
11:50 am

PLAYOFFS?….. Your talking PLAYOFFS? ….. We have to finish the drill not get drilled like last week. Turn the page build to fight another year, cause this ones not ours. Sorry but we going down in the first round.

Seen is in the HOUSE

December 12th, 2012
11:56 am

Esquire
December 12th, 2012
10:46 am

I think that the miserable truth will be self-evident this weekend, that our team’s streak of luck ran out a few weeks back and that we are indeed a mediocre team.

Hate to say it, but winning the division title will be the apex of our accomplishments this year, but it’s at least something to build on for next year.
***************************************************

Welcome Seen That Before!!

Hello Seen, The miserable truth really is that you are a PEESHWANK and will always be nothing but a PEESHWANK. They should give you an award over there at NOLA, your in depth intelligent postings are legendary. Be careful though or they are going to start thinking you are a Falcons fan, if they don’t already.

You are right, this game is a huge test for our MIGHTY MIGHTY FALCONS but there is no doubt, the Caints got there butts handed to them roflmao………52 – 0…..!!! Might as well have been ZERO, you were lucky to score at all, just like with your woman, well, er uh your tranny from Bourbon Street. So come back anytime, be me, be you, hell be DLed if ya wanna be. What a waste of space you are.

Stay the dunce hat that you are! ROFLMAO

WE ARE THE MIGHTY MIGHTY FALCONS!!!

Esquire is in the HOUSE

December 12th, 2012
12:01 pm

5-6-7-8
Everywhere we goooO,
Everywhere we goooO,
People wanna knooOw,
People wanna knooOw,
Who we aaa are,
Who we aaa are,
So we tell theem, So we tell theem,
We are the FALCONS!! We are the FALCONS!!
MIGHTY MIGHTY FALCONS, MIGHTY MIGHTY FALCONS !!
OHH AHH OHH YEEAHH

Esquire is in the HOUSE

December 12th, 2012
12:08 pm

1stn10
December 12th, 2012
11:40 am

I know the game Sunday is not a “must win” but a win sure would make me feel better about their chances in the playoffs.

***************************************************

Actually it is a “must win” or at the least “must show up”. If we don’t play championship caliber football against the Giants we will probably fulfill all the Falcons haters wishes of one and done. Period. We should have beaten the Caints the first time around………..we didn’t put them away. The Carolina game was a trap game, we know it. If we lose against the Giants we better be able to hold our heads high. But how bout we just go out and whip their ass.

Buddy Landel

December 12th, 2012
12:26 pm

A lot of Negative Nancies here. How do your husbands deal with all your whining? It’s ONE GAME. We laid an egg. Pittsburgh’s done it, Baltimore, NYG, SF can’t even beat the Rams.

Dum-Bass

December 12th, 2012
12:28 pm

“If the playoffs started today”, the Falcons would be one and done just like the Braves were. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. Way, way overrated and dang lucky to be where they are!

Season Ticket Holder

December 12th, 2012
12:42 pm

Mike Smith, please turn the playbook pass page 10 and bring back the gritz blitz!!! We need to make dwarfs out of the giants!

Season Ticket Holder

December 12th, 2012
12:44 pm

Matt Ryan DO NOT change the called play to a draw to Michael Turner!!!

trailerparkted

December 12th, 2012
1:06 pm

We have the best back-up QB in the league posing as a starter! Matty Ice should be called Matty Melt!!!!!!!!!

Buddy Landel

December 12th, 2012
1:09 pm

Ted, Go burn a mattress

Frank Abignale

December 12th, 2012
1:29 pm

Seen is in the HOUSE

December 12th, 2012
11:56 am

Welcome Seen That Before!!

Hello Seen, The miserable truth really is that you are a PEESHWANK and will always be nothing but a PEESHWANK. They should give you an award over there at NOLA, your in depth intelligent postings are legendary. Be careful though or they are going to start thinking you are a Falcons fan, if they don’t already.

You are right, this game is a huge test for our MIGHTY MIGHTY FALCONS but there is no doubt, the Caints got there butts handed to them roflmao………52 – 0…..!!! Might as well have been ZERO, you were lucky to score at all, just like with your woman, well, er uh your tranny from Bourbon Street. So come back anytime, be me, be you, hell be DLed if ya wanna be. What a waste of space you are.

_________________________________________________________________

Same to you, Putz.

@Esquire is in the House: What’s good for the goose, is good for the gander.

cdog

December 12th, 2012
1:30 pm

i hope the falcons can see what their haters are trying to do.they want to get inside the falcons heads about the post season. if the falcons just prepare themselves doing the week and take care of business on sundays they bwill shut bup their hater-critics who are jealous of the falcons. when i hear players like hardy of the panthers talking with a 4-9 record it ticles me. it lets me know that teams like that will never win because instead of taking care of business, they choose to run their mouth and lose.hugh douglass and all of the commentators are so jealous even though the falcons have the best record in the NFC, they still hate on them well, thats fine.hope matt ryan do what works best and attack down the field instead of bouncing up and down and throw 3 yard patterns. the falcons need to go back to the killer instinct and play football by out blocking and tackling the opther team and they will will every game left including going to the superbowl.the birds will beat the giants sunday but watch out mike smith, don”t sit over their smiling and let the officials rob you. this is a new york team so they will get the calls.watch out.

trailerparkted

December 12th, 2012
2:03 pm

Giants 43 Falcons 10

[...] Atlanta Falcons This entry was posted in Atlanta Falcons and tagged buzz, playoff, playoffs, started, today. Bookmark the permalink. ← Baltimore Ravens’ Asa Jackson suspended four games for PEDs [...]

[...] PLAYOFFS BUZZ: If the playoffs started today . . . [...]

BartBuzz

December 12th, 2012
3:41 pm

The only problem is the Falcons still have to win a post-season game. One and done is tiresome.

yellowfever

December 12th, 2012
7:21 pm

what a stupid article, if, if, if. The ajc really is hard up when you have to play the if the playoffs started today game.

yellowfever

December 12th, 2012
7:26 pm

can somebody, anybody, please tell me why the Falcons never use play action pass plays to slow down the defenders and help our not so go pass blockers. I never see Matt Ryan fake to a running back to freeze the LB’s and then make a throw. Somebody please explain.Maybe Dirk can tell me why he doesn’t use this strategy.

D man

December 12th, 2012
8:20 pm

This season feels a lot like the 1998 season when we finished 14 & 2, beat Jerry Rice & Steve Young in the second round after everyone said we would be one and done, and then we went to play at the Vikings who were heavy favorites to win and won on a last second field goal to go to the Superbowl.

Every network analyst hated the Falcons and said that we would be one and done and that we were not a very good team. Problem for them is that we were a very balanced team that didn’t make a lot of penalties and got turnovers. Sound familiar? :)

mayhem is coming

December 12th, 2012
9:36 pm

Too early to speculate about playoffs. The Panthers game would not have turned out like it did if the Falcons played like a championship team. I don’t agree with Tony Gonzalez’s assessment that the “fans are jumping off the wagon.” I know the fans will hang in there with the Birds,even though

mayhem is coming

December 12th, 2012
9:42 pm

Sorry my Golden Retriever hit the send key, guess she didn’t like my comments. As I was saying, the fans will be there, but it’s good that the Falcons have a few weeks to get the run
game working,get the D-line more aggressive and Matt Ryan from yelling at the opposition.

Rip

December 12th, 2012
10:10 pm

I love the Falcons playing the Giants. all this talk about Smithy not loosing two in a row, This baby is over the Giants a Physical team is going to slap that offensive line around like wet paper. An I get a front row to see it. So Monday get ready for the interview specials Ryan we got to play better, I have got to play better, we just got to put this one behind us, we are in the playofffs and this is the NFL (uh) Smithy, We were not good offensively and definsively, we have the 24 hour rule and we will just get down to business and correct these mistakes O HOW I WILL LOVE TO HEAR THE FALCON FANS EXCUSES. ONE AND DONE

Dum-Bass

December 12th, 2012
11:19 pm

Sure hope the number for the Suicide Prevention Hotline is posted after the ATL-NY game. Some will most likely need it after the Giants lay another one on the Falcons, and NO, I am not a Giants fan either.

[...] PLAYOFF BUZZ: If the playoffs begined today . . . The Falcons (11-2), the only NFC team to have clinched a playoff berth, would be the No. 1 seed with a 1st-round bye & home-field advantage throughout the conference playoffs. Atlanta would open the playoffs on January 12 or 13 against the lowest … Read more on Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Bilco

December 13th, 2012
6:38 am

falcons > SF to win the nfc east
falcons > NE super bowl—bet the house

the ATL is for real!