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Forget The Math: Falcons Looking To Win Last Three


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http://m.espn.go.com/general/blogs/blogpost?blogname=atlanta-falcons&id=10679

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Roddy Whiteunderstands the dynamics of his team's situation.

The 5-8 Atlanta Falcons, currently in first place in the NFC South, control their own destiny for the playoffs, and they don't even have to win Sunday's game against the Steelers to do so. As long as the Falcons win their final two games against the Saints (5-8) and Panthers (4-8-1), they would would win the division and earn a postseason berth. And they could become the first team in NFL history to go undefeated in the division with a losing overall record, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

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"I understand the numbers that if we lose [sunday] and then we go to New Orleans and beat them and then win our last game [at home versus Carolina], we're in," White said. "I understand that we'd be undefeated in the division and [possibly] have the same record. But I'm trying to win these last three, big dog. We want to win this week."

The Falcons currently hold the tiebreaker over the Saints after a 37-34 overtime win in the season opener. But the next matchup between the teams on Dec. 21 is in New Orleans, which makes it much more difficult for White and crew. The Saints have won three straight over the Falcons at the Superdome and have won seven of the past eight at home in the series.

"You want to win all three of these games because New Orleans is such a hard place to go down there and win," White said. "In the past, we haven't gone down there and won a lot of times. You just can't count on that: We just got to get two wins to get in the playoffs or anything like that. You've got to go out there and get all three. Then, we'll be in.

"That's been my goal. That's what I'm preaching to the guys. We just can't go in there and say, 'Well if we lose this game, we'll be all right,' because it's going to be a lot of pressure to win the last two."

Free safety Dwight Lowery is on the same page with White in regard to not focusing on the final two games against the division foes, although those games are the most crucial in the equation.

"You've got to look at it from a morale perspective; you've got to look at it from a confidence perspective," Lowery said. "If you lose two games in a row going into playing your division opponent in what would be a pretty huge game, I'd rather go in winning than losing. Everything matters. Everything counts.

"You look ahead in the sense that you want to win every single game. But at the same time, you've got to take it one game at a time. The Steelers are focused on us because they have to win, too. And next week, it will be New Orleans, then Carolina. They could win, we could win. They could lose, we could lose. If you start thinking too far ahead, it might actually handicap you when you actually get to that game."

No team in the NFC South can finish above .500. And by the way, the worst combined record for any division in NFL history, according to Elias, is the 2008 NFC West with a 22-42 overall mark and .344 win percentage. This year's NFC South currently is 16-35-1 for a .317 win percentage.

Edited by Beast-N-Da-Sheetz
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The heII with the so-called cushion, we should always have that "win every game" mentality. Finishing the season on a 3 win streak will look good going into the playoffs and the much needed momentum will carry over also.

Exactly. A hot streak is always mentioned around here yet the pittsburgh game means nothing. Well that's a **** lie. Making the playoffs with a 3 game streak and a home game in round 1 is all the momentum these players need.

And the Pittsburgh game is important. If the Saints go 2-1 to finish the season and the falcons **** around and go 1-2 to end the season, guess who's playoff hopes are vanished. I don't understand why the thought is that playing at home or in a dome period is an automatic win. Stats say this and stats say that. they mean nothing if the opponent wants it a bit more than you do. I'm happy the team has the win out mentality.

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FYI

The winner of that 2008 NFC west??? The Arizona Cardinals....who finished 9-7, who went to another 9-7 team in Philly for the NFC title game.

Translation?? The regular season means Jack.......... get into the playoffs and make your own destiny.

But they beat a 10-6 team on the road to start that destiny sad.png Man that is a terrible streak of playoff losses to get out of your head. Every team that beat the falcons made the super bowl.

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As long as winning the division doesn't come down to the Saints game (we need to win before then and/or they need to lose before then) I'm happy. Yeah they're struggling just as bad, but as "Per Week" as the NFL is you just never know what could happen and the Superdome hasn't exactly been a welcoming place to the team over the years (since what, 2002, we've only won twice there; and since 2008 we're overall 4-9 vs the Saints)

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"You want to win all three of these games because New Orleans is such a hard place to go down there and win," White said. "In the past, we haven't gone down there and won a lot of times. You just can't count on that: We just got to get two wins to get in the playoffs or anything like that. You've got to go out there and get all three. Then, we'll be in.

"That's been my goal. That's what I'm preaching to the guys. We just can't go in there and say, 'Well if we lose this game, we'll be all right,' because it's going to be a lot of pressure to win the last two."

Free safety Dwight Lowery is on the same page with White in regard to not focusing on the final two games against the division foes, although those games are the most crucial in the equation.

"You've got to look at it from a morale perspective; you've got to look at it from a confidence perspective," Lowery said. "If you lose two games in a row going into playing your division opponent in what would be a pretty huge game, I'd rather go in winning than losing. Everything matters. Everything counts.

"You look ahead in the sense that you want to win every single game. But at the same time, you've got to take it one game at a time. The Steelers are focused on us because they have to win, too. And next week, it will be New Orleans, then Carolina. They could win, we could win. They could lose, we could lose. If you start thinking too far ahead, it might actually handicap you when you actually get to that game."

Cant read this enough

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Yeah that's what I meant. I don't know where I got 10-6 from lol.

Now that I think about it we were arguing about the falcons record during Ryans rookie season at work and someone kept saying 10-6 and it stuck with me lol

haha no worries

That was the game where their defense was continually off sides but the refs almost refused to call it............... even the announcers were like " uhh they were offsides"

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Was impressed by the effort in GB, won't mean much if they follow it up with a loss to Pitt. 3 game win streak to end the season, 8-8 after a 2-6 start, a home playoff game, and who knows after that? Falcons have beaten ARI, showed they could play with GB & Det.

Best case scenario for Falcons: win 3 straight, get into playoffs, which are seeded GB, ARI, PHI, ATL, DET, SEA.

First week, ATL defeats DET, SEA knocks off PHIL

Second week ATL defeats ARI, SEA beats GB

Third week, ATL, at home, defeats SEA

Fourth week super bowl

Think that's a reasonable guess at the seeding, Falcons beat ARI because ARI has no QB.

May be improbable, hardly impossible.

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Was impressed by the effort in GB, won't mean much if they follow it up with a loss to Pitt. 3 game win streak to end the season, 8-8 after a 2-6 start, a home playoff game, and who knows after that? Falcons have beaten ARI, showed they could play with GB & Det.

Best case scenario for Falcons: win 3 straight, get into playoffs, which are seeded GB, ARI, PHI, ATL, DET, SEA.

First week, ATL defeats DET, SEA knocks off PHIL

Second week ATL defeats ARI, SEA beats GB

Third week, ATL, at home, defeats SEA

Fourth week super bowl

Think that's a reasonable guess at the seeding, Falcons beat ARI because ARI has no QB.

May be improbable, hardly impossible.

That's a lot of wishful thinking, but like you said it's hardly impossible. Would love for it to play out this way with ending in a Superbowl win of course.

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That's a lot of wishful thinking, but like you said it's hardly impossible. Would love for it to play out this way with ending in a Superbowl win of course.

Did say it was a best case scenario. Strangely enough, they could also lose the next 3 games, end up 5-11 with a top 10 pick. Not often that you can say that this late in a season-division winner or top ten pick.

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The only thing I see with Roddy's mindset is him seeming to think that beating Pittsburgh is going to somehow take the pressure off.

The Falcons are still going to need that win in New Orleans no matter what happens this week. And they could very well need to win the last one even if they win the next two.

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The only thing I see with Roddy's mindset is him seeming to think that beating Pittsburgh is going to somehow take the pressure off.The Falcons are still going to need that win in New Orleans no matter what happens this week. And they could very well need to win the last one even if they win the next two.

Roddy has the mindset of a competitor. Say the falcons lose to the steelers, beat the Saints and turn around and losses to the panthers and the saints beat Chicago, losses to Atlanta and finishes the year with a win over Tampa. Guess who makes the playoffs if Carolina doesn't win out. So yeah, it's smart for a competitor on a team in contention to have that mindset.

The saying going around is the falcons control their own destiny. They actually need more help than yall realize. So winning out is the best case scenario for them alone. 3 game streak going Int the playoffs will be a huge momentum boost

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