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  1. Who’s in? Who’s out? Every week during the last week’s of the NFL season it can get a little confusing with the scenarios, tiebreakers, schedule strengths, division records and on and on. AtlantaFalcons.com’s Daniel Cox breaks it all down and simplifies it all for you, letting you know who to root for and against each week. The best part about Atlanta’s playoff hopes heading into Week 13 is they have a chance to improve. Currently they’re sitting in the No. 6 spot, with a few teams, the Giants and Lions, breathing down their neck. There are a few scenarios this week that will provide the Falcons with some room to move their legs. Of the eight NFC teams believed to have the best shot at making the playoffs, the Falcons have the fourth-easiest strength of schedule remaining, topped by the 49ers, Dallas and New Orleans. When looking at playoff scenarios, the first assumption is that the Falcons win. The first thing to know about the playoffs after this week’s round of games is that Atlanta will maintain a playoff seed even if Detroit and Chicago win their games. If Chicago loses, the Falcons will move into the fifth seed, regardless of the outcome between the Detroit and New Orleans game. The Falcons hold the tiebreaker over Detroit because of their head-to-head win. Very little changes in the playoff scenario if the top two seeds, Green Bay and San Francisco, win or lose. The same is true for Dallas. One interesting twist is a Detroit win will bump the Saints into the fourth seed and perhaps bringing the Falcons closer to an NFC South crown. If Chicago wins, the playoff picture remains unchanged, regardless of the outcome between the Saints and the Lions. So, to summarize, root for the Chiefs over the Bears and the Lions over the Saints. I’m sure that last one will be easy for Falcons fans. On second thought, you can still root against the Cowboys, Packers and 49ers. It might not hurt for the coming weeks, but we’ll get to that later. http://www.atlantafalcons.com/2011/12/who-to-root-for/
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