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White: Playoffs start now for the Falcons


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White: Playoffs start now for the Falcons

By D. Orlando Ledbetter

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

FLOWERY BRANCH -- Falcons wide receiver Roddy White doesn't beat around the bush.

As far as the Pro Bowl receiver is concerned, the playoffs start when the Falcons host Tampa Bay at the Georgia Dome on Sunday.

"We are in the playoffs right now," White said.

The Falcons are 5-5 with six games to play. If the playoffs started today, they would be on the outside looking in.

White has figured that the Falcons need to run the table to make a second consecutive trip to the playoffs.

"Win them all," White said. "We have to win. We can't have [any] more set backs. It's a six-game end-of-the-year deal.

"We have to go out there and win six games. If we go out there and win six games, we'll control our own destiny."

With Sunday's excruciating 34-31 overtime loss to the New York Giants, the Falcons dropped to .500 for the first time since the fourth game of last season.

"It doesn't feel good to be .500," right tackle Tyson Clabo said. "My middle school football coach told us one time that it's like kissing your sister. We just need to win some games and nobody will remember we were .500."

The Falcons are five games behind the New Orleans Saints (10-0) in an uncompetitive NFC South division race. Minnesota (9-1) is similarly attempting to run away with the NFC North.

The Falcons, as it stands now, will be battling Arizona (7-3), Dallas (7-3), New York (6-4), Philadelphia (6-4) and Green Bay (6-4) for the two wild card berths. Dallas and New York own the head-to-head tie-breakers over the Falcons.

The Falcons are just one game head of Carolina (4-6), Chicago (4-6) and San Francisco (4-6). But the Falcons hold head-to-head advantages over Chicago and San Francisco and split their two games this season with Carolina.

"Coach has a slogan: ‘You get what you earn in this league,' " White said, and the way he sees things, the Falcons haven't been earning much.

"We are not playing well enough to win games at the end," White said. "We just have to go in there and get back at home. The crowd will be pumped up in the Georgia Dome and get us some wins."

Over their last seven games, the Falcons have played four opponents coming off their bye weeks. They were 3-4 over that stretch, including dropping four of their last five.

"I feel as if we have to be more consistent," White said. "We weren't consistent enough. ... We are digging ourselves holes."

At the Dome, where the Falcons play their next three games, the team is 4-0 this season.

"I don't think we really care about what our schedule was or what it is coming up," Clabo said. "What we care about is who we play this week and getting a win. That's the only thing we are thinking about. We are not worried about anything else."

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Dumb Bedwetter again.

The Falcons, as it stands now, will be battling Arizona (7-3), Dallas (7-3), New York (6-4), Philadelphia (6-4) and Green Bay (6-4) for the two wild card berths. Dallas and New York own the head-to-head tie-breakers over the Falcons.

Arizona isn't in the wildcard race, they'll take their division.

Either Dallas, New York, or Philly will win that division, taking them out of the wildcard race.

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Anyone else irritated by ledbetter not knowing that the cards and the boys are division leaders and we're not competing with them?

for the cowboys we will be competing with them if either eagles or giants take the division and for ari there is always the off chance they falter and sanfran takes the division

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I think we're in a great position to make a late season run. The ridiculous schedule we had with 4 teams coming off bye weeks is done. Maybe its just me, but I really like our chances of winning out the rest of the season assuming Matt Ryan plays like he did last week and we get Turner and Norwood back for the final stretch.

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Dumb Bedwetter again.

Arizona isn't in the wildcard race, they'll take their division.

Either Dallas, New York, or Philly will win that division, taking them out of the wildcard race.

dude... i was thinking that when i was reading the article.... I just didnt want to say nothing...lol

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dude... i was thinking that when i was reading the article.... I just didnt want to say nothing...lol

New York, Philly and Green Bay.

Philly has to play New York and us - 2 losses (lol)

Green Bay just lost 2 of their key players - Al Harris and Aaron Kampman for the year and they have to play on Thursday - short week.

New York has their roughest part of the schedule coming up.

Should be interesting over the next few weeks.

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New York, Philly and Green Bay.

Philly has to play New York and us - 2 losses (lol)

Green Bay just lost 2 of their key players - Al Harris and Aaron Kampman for the year and they have to play on Thursday - short week.

New York has their roughest part of the schedule coming up.

Should be interesting over the next few weeks.

I definitely think we have the most favorable schedule left.

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I definitely think we have the most favorable schedule left.

I agree - plus we have more home games coming up. We've ended our brutal part of the schedule - now they just have to take care of business each week.

That being said - if they don't correct the kicking problem - whether it's the snapper or the kicker - we are going to be hurting the remainder of this season.

Houston - I don't know about him. He looked great the 2 previous games - looked like he had turned the corner - as well as his head. He regressed in this game.

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Yep favorable in what way?. Didn't the Raiders just beat the Bengals? So what does Tampa look like? You guys are way ahead of yourselves.

We don't play the Raiders or the Bengals.

He's referring to the upcoming schedule based on home games vs. away games and records.

Very clearly, we have the most conducive record to winning out based on the teams in the running for the playoffs.

We still have to go out and play the game - just like they do.

What's wrong with discussing the possibilities?

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Yep favorable in what way?. Didn't the Raiders just beat the Bengals? So what does Tampa look like? You guys are way ahead of yourselves.

4 of our remaining 6 games are against teams under .500(Bucs x2, Jets, and Bills). They're a combine 8-22. That's favorable. The two toughest games we have left, the Saints and Eagles, are both in Atlanta, where this team is 11-1 since last year. That's favorable. I'm sorry I'm having to explain this to you.

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