The Atlanta Falcons dropped to 4-11 on the season after their 17-14 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs and they have now lost their previous four games and officially been eliminated from the postseason. This means the next major event for the franchise will be the NFL Draft.
According to Tankathon, the Falcons hold the No. 4 pick in the draft following the Sunday games, which is a spot up from where they had previously been. Atlanta is one of two 4-11 teams after Sunday, but there's still a lot that could change over last week of the season. The third overall pick in the draft is the highest that Atlanta can achieve, but there are several scenarios that would result in the Falcons sliding back in the order in Week 17.
While the team, itself, is still very much focused on winning its final game, there are several other games outside of the Falcons' control that will impact their standing in the draft. Here are some upcoming games that Atlanta fans, who care about the team's draft status, should pay attention to.
Baltimore Ravens (10-5) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (4-10-1) (Jan. 3, 1 p.m. ET)
- Who to root for: Cincinnati Bengals
- Why: Like the Panthers, the Bengals are currently behind the Falcons by virtue of their single tie this season. Again, that would change with an Atlanta win coupled with a Cincinnati loss. A Bengals victory in Week 17 ensures the Falcons remain in front.
Minnesota Vikings (6-9) vs. Detroit Lions (5-10) (Jan. 3, 1 p.m. ET)
- Who to root for: Detroit Lions
- Why: There seems to be a trend to all of these Week 17 games. With one game to go, the Lions are one game behind the Falcons. Thanks to their lower strength of schedule, the Lions would jump ahead of the Falcons if both teams finish with identical records. A Detroit win against Minnesota guarantees that won't happen.
Dallas Cowboys (6-9) vs. New York Giants (5-10) (Jan. 3, 1 p.m. ET)
- Who to root for: New York Giants
- Why: The Giants are another team who would jump ahead of the Falcons if things broke the wrong way in Week 17. Should New York knock off Dallas, however, they are guaranteed to stay behind Atlanta.
New Orleans Saints (11-4) vs. Carolina Panthers (5-10) (Jan. 3, 4:25 p.m. ET)
- Who to root for: Carolina Panthers
- Why: The Panthers gave the Falcons a big gift by beating the Washington Football Team. That win put Carolina a game behind Atlanta in the draft standing, but that ground could easily be made up if the Falcons beat the Buccaneers and the Panthers lose to the Saints. In that scenario, Carolina would jump back in front of Atlanta because of its strength of schedule. The easiest way to ensure that doesn't come into play is for the Panthers to knock off the Saints in their finale.
Tennessee Titans (10-4) vs. Houston Texans (4-11) (Jan. 3, 4:25 p.m. ET)
- Who to root for: Houston Texans
- Why: How nice must it feel to be a Miami Dolphins fan right now? Not only are they in contention to make the playoffs for the first time since 2016, but they control the rights to the Houston Texans' draft pick, which is currently the No. 3 spot in the draft. Houston has the same record as Atlanta but a slightly easier schedule, which puts it a spot ahead.
Washington Football Teams (6-9) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (4-10-1) (Jan. 3, 8:20 p.m. ET)
- Who to root for: Philadelphia Eagles
- Why: Philadelphia is in the exact same boat as Cincinnati and sits behind Atlanta only because of its tie earlier this season. Closing 2020 out with a win would keep the Eagles behind the Falcons, regardless of what happens in Atlanta's final game.
Get an inside look at the matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and Kansas City Chiefs with top photos from Week 16.