Atlanta Falcons: Playoffs begin Sunday vs. Los Angeles Rams

The Atlanta Falcons have to play each of their last four contests as if they are playoff games. The road to the Super Bowl begins Sunday with a must-win game vs. the Los Angeles Rams.

In a year we didn’t expect much, the Atlanta Falcons have an opportunity to win the NFC South with a quarter of the season remaining. It all starts with a victory over Jeff Fisher, his famed mustache, and his bizarre contract extension this Sunday, Lose to the Rams and Atlanta is likely on the outside looking in come actual playoff time.

Four games. Four games is all that remains in this wild NFL regular season. That’s four more chances for the Atlanta Falcons to win and play their way past Week 17.

It’s weird to think that a game against a struggling team who plays a rookie quarterback is a must-win, but that is the case for Atlanta. Making the playoffs quickly goes from “likely” to “doubtful” should the Falcons lose to Los Angeles. Not helping Atlanta’s cause are injuries to key players: Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu, and Jake Matthews.

The Atlanta Falcons are capable of winning the game on the road with or without Jones, Sanu, and Matthews…but will they?

Late-season execution remains an issue for Atlanta. The Falcons were very capable of beating the Chiefs last week but squandered away a multitude of opportunity. The good news for fans is Atlanta’s relative success on the road. Yes, the Falcons are 4-2 in games away from the Georgia Dome and let’s face it, the Rams still don’t have much home field advantage at the Coliseum.

Be mindful that Dirk Koetter’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers are playing well and have closed in. The race for the NFC South crown is tight as the Falcons now stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Bucs. Atlanta does hold a slight advantage despite matching 7-5 records, but the “Dirty Birds” don’t have much room left for error, if any.

The next two games against inferior opponents are must-wins if the Falcons want to hold their division lead. Atlanta can set the tone with a big win in Los Angeles and snowball the momentum toward the playoffs. I see no reason why Atlanta doesn’t win on Sunday if the offensive rhythm is on point.

We should hope for a lot of smart football, an effective run game, and a rebound performance from the defense.

Last week was rough for Falcons Nation as the team honestly should have beaten the AFC-favorite Chiefs. This is a new week; however, and as long as the Falcons go 4-0 over the next 4 weeks, we have every reason to remain fired up about our team.

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