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Falcons' Playoff Hopes Still Alive

The Minnesota Vikings (9-5) and the Atlanta Falcons (7-7) are currently in the running for the No. 6 seed in the NFC playoff picture. The Seattle Seahawks (9-5) clinched the No. 5 seed on Sunday with a win over the Cleveland Browns.

Atlanta needs both Seattle and Minnesota to finish the season with 9-7 records and the Falcons need to win out and finish with a final record of 9-7 to put themselves in a three-team tie. The tiebreaker procedures for a three-team tie does not include head-to-head results, which would nullify Minnesota's win over the Falcons in Week 12.

Below are the NFL rules for a three-team tie for the Wild-Card spot:

  1. Apply division tiebreaker to eliminate all but the highest ranked club in each division prior to proceeding to step 2. The original seeding within a division upon application of the division tie breaker remains the same for all subsequent applications of the procedure that are necessary to identify the two Wild-Card participants.
  2. Head-to-head sweep. (Applicable only if one club has defeated each of the others or if one club has lost to each of the others.)
  3. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.
  4. Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games, minimum of four.
  5. Strength of victory.
  6. Strength of schedule.
  7. Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed.

Seattle's remaining schedule:
12/27: Seahawks vs. St. Louis Rams
1/3: Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals

Minnesota's remaining schedule:
12/27: Vikings vs. Giants
1/3: Vikings at Packers

Bottom line is this, Atlanta needs to win its remaining two games and both Seattle and Minnesota have to lose their remaining games for the Falcons to make the playoffs.

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