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Falcons-Saints game day, time announced for Week 18

The NFL announced the final slate of previously undetermined Week 18 kickoffs late Sunday night after all Week 17 work concluded.


FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — The 2023 Atlanta Falcons regular-season schedule is now officially complete, with their Week 18 game day and time finally determined.

The Falcons (7-9) will play the New Orleans Saints (8-8) on Sunday at Caesars Superdome, the NFL announced after Week 17 competition wrapped. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. ET. CBS will carry live coverage.

The Week 18 date had been listed as TBD until this point, as the league waited to see how the regular season unfolded and playoff scenarios worked out. The NFC South champion could very well be decided in New Orleans, depending on the result of the Carolina Panthers (2-14) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-8) contest.

Tampa Bay-Carolina will be played at the same time, with a 1 p.m. ET Sunday kickoff that will be broadcast on FOX.

The Falcons are coming off a 37-17 loss to the Chicago Bears in Week 17, while the Saints are riding an important 23-13 win over the Buccaneers. The Saints' victory was actually more important for the Falcons' postseason hopes than their own outcome. Had the Buccaneers won, Tampa Bay would have clinched the NFC South. Instead, it now remains an open race among the Falcons, Saints and Buccaneers. The Panthers were eliminated from contention back in Week 13.

In order for Atlanta to advance, the Falcons need to beat the Saints and the Panthers to beat the Buccaneers. Because in that scenario, the Falcons, Buccaneers and Saints are all 8-9 at the end of the regular season. And the Falcons would actually hold the tiebreaker because of head-to-head records: Falcons vs. Saints/Buccaneers: 3-1; Buccaneers vs. Falcons/Saints: 2-2; and Saints vs. Falcons/Buccaneers: 1-3.

If the Buccaneers beat the Panthers, Tampa Bay is the division champ regardless of the Falcons-Saints finish. If the Buccaneers lose and the Saints beat the Falcons, then New Orleans is the division champ.

So, the NFC South hinges on Week 18. The Falcons still have a chance at the 2023 title.

Get an inside look at the matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field during Week 17.

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