Atlanta Falcons Playoff Chances February 2024: Tracking the Falcons Playoff Picture

Fact Checked by Shannon Lane
Falcons QB Desmond Ridder

Key Takeaways:

  • πŸ“Š The Falcons playoff chances are 14.3%, based on odds from DraftKings Sportsbook.
  • ⭐️ The Falcons have a 11.8% chance to win the division.
  • πŸ† The Falcons Super Bowl XLVIII odds are +12000, giving them a 0.5% chance to win.

The Falcons playoff chances are on life support after a devastating 9-7 loss to the hapless Panthers in rainy and windy Charlotte. Atlanta lead 7-6 midway through the 4th quarter and was deep in Carolina territory when Desmond Ridder threw an untimely red zone interception. The Panthers took over at their own 5 with 7:35 left and never gave the ball back, ending the game with a Eddie Piniero chip shot field goal. The Falcons defense did not allow a touchdown for the third time in four games, but as is too often the case, could not get that big stop when they needed it. It is the fourth game in the last six where they allowed a long, late, game-clinching scoring drive. Thanks to the loss and victories by both the Saints and Bucs, the 6-8 Falcons now sit a game behind both the Saints and Bucs with just three games remaining.

What are the Falcons Playoff Chances?

The Falcons' playoff chances are 14.3%, according to odds from DraftKings Sportsbook, following a shocking loss to the Panthers in Week 15. Here's a look at additional postseason odds available on major sportsbooks.

⭐ Falcons Playoff Chances14.3% Chance
❌ Falcons Miss Playoffs85.5% Chance
πŸ‘‘ Falcons Win Super Bowl0.5% Chance
πŸ† Falcons Win NFC0.9% Chance
πŸ”₯ Falcons Win NFC South11.8% Chance
🏈 ESPN Football Power Index (FPI)-2.5 FPI (22nd)
πŸ—½ New York Times Postseason Simulator7%
βœ… Data Verified by ExpertFebruary 26, 2024

The Falcons playoff odds are based on the betting markets available at DraftKings and then converted to implied probability, which is where the percentages come in. All major sportsbooks post playoff odds and division odds as well as conference title and Super Bowl odds.

The Falcons rate very poorly on the advanced statisticial sites. They sit at -2.6 in ESPN's FPI, 23rd best in the league. DVOA paints an even more bearish picture, giving Atlanta a -16.3% mark that ranks 28th.

The weak NFC South and the lack of NFC team in general breaking out of the mid-tier glob has kept the Falcons in the playoff race, but it is getting very late to make a move. FPI gives the Falcons just an 8.4% chance to win the division and a 10.3% chance to make the postseason.

Falcons Week-by-Week Playoff Chances

Here are the Falcons' implied playoff probabilities based on betting markets going into each week. I'll be updating Atlanta's playoff chances weekly after each game played.

WeekAtlanta Falcons Playoff Chances
Week 149.3%
Week 256.1%
Week 364.9%
Week 464%
Week 553.5%
Week 654.5%
Week 752.4%
Week 868.3%
Week 964.9%
Week 1046.5%
Week 1133.9%
Week 1233.3%
Week 1357.4%
Week 1468.3%
Week 1541.7%
Week 1614.3%

There is just no way to sugar coat the results from Week 15. The Falcons' loss to the worst team in the NFL hits especially hard as it comes at the hands of a division foe. The Bucs and Saints both won and now sit at 7-7, a game ahead of Atlanta with just three to play. The Falcons now lose any tiebreaker to the Bucs, so will need to somehow pick up two games to pass them. Atlanta does have a narrow path to win the division. In requires sweeping the final three games, which includes the season finale in New Orleans, and the Saints beating the Bucs in Tampa in Week 17. The Bucs would then need to lose either at home to the Jaguars in Week 16 or at Carolina in Week 18. The Falcons could get in as a Wild Card as well if they get to 9-8.

Do the Falcons Have a Chance to Make the Playoffs?

The Falcons can still make the playoffs, but their margin of error is virtually zero. They sit at 6-8, a game behind both the Bucs and Saints, and will lose virtually any tiebreaker to the Bucs. Atlanta needs to win their final three and hope the Bucs lose at least twice, The Falcons play the Saints in Week 18, so they remain the easier target. A Wild Card berth remains possible, but not highly likely. Again, it will almost certainly require running the table and getting some help in the form of losses by the Vikings and Rams.

Are the Falcons Out of Playoffs?

The Atlanta Falcons are not out of the playoffs just yet, but it does not look too likely. The sit at 6-8, a game behind both the Saints and Bucs in the NFC South race, and 1 behind both the Rams and Vikings in the chase for the final two Wild Card spots. The Falcons are at a tiebreaker disadvantage against all but the Saints, so they really need to make up two games in three weeks against at least one of the the above, while the Packers and Seahawks remain in the Wild Card mix.

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Atlanta Falcons Playoff Chances: Key Updates February 2024

Here are the pieces of news and updates impacting Atlanta's playoff chances that Falcons fans and bettors need to know:

  • πŸ“† December 17, 2023: Atlanta's playoff chase may have ended in a 9-7 loss in the wind and pouring rain of Charlotte. The offense only put up 204 yards in the horrible conditions, while the D held Carolina out of the end zone but could not stop the Panthers from driving virtually the entire field with the game on the line. The poor performance may mark the end of Desmond Ridder's tenure as starting QB as Taylor Heinicke gets the nod going forward.
  • πŸ“† December 10, 2023: QB Desmond Ridder threw for 347 yards and a TD and ran for another score, and WR Drake London had a career day with 10 receptions and 172 yards. It all went for naught unfortunately as a Ridder interception and fumble and Atlanta's inability to get a key stop late led to a 29-25 defeat at the hands of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
  • πŸ“† December 3, 2023: The Falcons slogged out a 13-8 victory over the Jets in rainy and cold New Jersey. It will not get any style points, but a win is a win. Atlanta mustered just 194 yards of offense, but it led to 13 points thanks to some short fields courtesy of three defensive turnovers. For the second straight week, safety Jesse Bates had a key interception and the defense held the opponent out of the end zone.
  • πŸ“† November 26, 2023: Atlanta faced a near must-win situation in Week 12 and came through in a big way, taking out the Saints 24-15. Bijan Robinson led the way with 123 total yards from scrimmage and two TDs on 16 carries and three receptions and safety Jessie Bates made perhaps the biggest play of the season with a 92 yard pick-6. The defense bent but never broke, holding the Saints without a TD despite five trips to the Red Zone.
  • πŸ“† November 20, 2023:Desmond Ridder will return as the starting QB for the remainder of the season. At least that Coach Arthur Smith's plan. Taylor Heinicke did not provide a hoped-for spark in Week 10 and will now return to his backup role
  • πŸ“† November 12, 2023:The Falcons had a very unproductive trip to the desert, falling 25-23 to a Cardinals team that entered the game with just one win all season.
  • πŸ“† November 5, 2023: The Falcons played reasonably well but could not get a key stop late and fell 31-28 to the Vikings in a game that may ultimately have huge playoff implications. Taylor Heinicke did enough to earn another start, going 21-38 for 268 yards with a TD and a pick, all minus top wideout Drake London.
  • πŸ“† November 1, 2023: Coach Arthur Smith has made a change at quarterback. Taylor Heinicke steps in for Desmond Ridder at least for Week 9 vs Minnesota
  • πŸ“† October 29, 2023: Atlanta dropped to 4-4 and a first-place tie for the NFC South lead thanks to a discouraging 28-23 loss to the Titans. Tough game for injuries as two-time Pro Bowl Defensive Tackle Grady Jarrett suffered a season-ending torn ACL, while star young wideout Drake London left the game in the 3rd quarter with a groin injury and did not return.
  • πŸ“† October 22: The Falcons improve to 4-3 with a 16-13 win over the Bucs that puts them in the early drivers seat in the NFC South.
  • πŸ“† October 15: Atlanta gets help in the NFC South picture both the Saints and Bucs losing their Week 6 matchups, keeping the Falcons in the thick of the division.
  • πŸ“† October 15: The rollercoaster continues as the Falcons fall to 3-3 after an incredibly sloppy loss to the Commanders. Despite outgaining Washington in yards 402-193 and Yards per play 5.9 to 4.3, Atlanta lost thanks to three Ridder interceptions and a bevy of untimely penalties and questionable coaching decisions. 
  • πŸ“† October 8: What a difference a week makes as the Falcons take down a hot Texans team 21-19. Houston stacked the box and dared QB Desmond Ridder to beat them, and the 2nd year QB delivered with his best game as a pro, completing 28 of 37 passes for 329 yards and a TD.
  • πŸ“† October 1: Atlanta drops to 2-2 after a desultory 23-7 loss to the Jaguars across the pond. Drake London does not do much playing in his namesake city as he hauls in 3 catches for just 28 yards, though he did account for the Falcons’ lone TD.
  • πŸ“† September 10: The Falcons open the season with a convincing 24-10 win over the Carolina Panthers behind two Jessie Bates interceptions and 131 combined rushing yards from RB Bijan Robinson and RB Tyler Allgeier. Robinson added 6 receptions for 27 yards and a TD in the air.

Bookmark this article and check back throughout the offseason as we continue to highlight breaking news on the Atlanta Falcons and how it will impact their chances to make the postseason for the first time since the 2017-2018 season.

Key Contributors Toward Falcons Playoff Chances

The Falcons have loaded up on premium skill position players in recent drafts and looked to emerge from their recent rebuild and contend for a playoff spot in 2023. Tight end Kyle Pitts came with the 4th pick in the 2021 draft, followed by WR Drake London in the 8th slot in 2022 and RB Bijan Robinson at number 8 in 2023. QB Desmond Ridder was a third-round selection in 2022.

Ridder has shown flashes, but costly turnovers and overall inconsistent play continue to hold him back. On the season, he has completed 224 of 354 passes (63.3%) for 2528 yards, 10 TDs and 10 interceptions. He has added 193 yards and 5 TDs on the ground but with 5 fumbles. ESPN gives him a 38.2 Total QBR, just 24th in the league and his 5.41 Adjusted Net Yards per attempt (ANY/A) ranks 22nd.

The Falcons want to "ground and pound" with a run-heavy offense and Robinson has emerged here and there as the feature back after essentially splitting the carry load with Tyler Allgeier earlier in the season. Robinson has been far more efficient with his totes, gaining 801 yards on 176 carries (4.6 Yards per carry) vs 577 yards on 166 carries (3.5 YPC) for Allgeier. Robinson has added 323 yards on 41 receptions.

London leads an often underwhelming pass attack with 58 receptions on 87 targets, good for 756 yards and two TDs. Pitts has 47 catches, for 586 yards. The Falcons all too sporadically unlock their high-ceiling skill players.

With the season on the line, head coach Arthur Smith has benched Ridder in favor of QB Taylor Heinicke, who still get the start this week against the Colts. Heinicke threw for nearly 2,000 yards last season with Washington. However, in three appearances this season, the veteran signal-caller doesn't have a completion percentage above 60% despite only throwing one interception.

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Atlanta Falcons Playoff Picture and Predictions

With time running out, the 6-8 Falcons have fallen a game behind both the Saints and Bucs in the NFC South. The Week 15 loss to Carolina was nothing short of devastating. Atlanta now needs to win out and get some help in the form of two Bucs losses in order to take the NFC South. They do play the Saints, so Atlanta still controls that part of their destiny. The Falcons can still sneak in as a Wild Card, but that too likely involves running the table and getting some help.
 

Where Can I Bet on the Falcons to Make the Playoffs?

You can bet on the Falcons to make the playoffs on most major Georgia sportsbook apps, including DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, Caesars Sportsbook, and BetMGM, among others. Keep in mind that odds will vary from site to site and continue to fluctuate with Falcons news and injury updates, which could impact their chances to remain in playoff contention.

Unfortunately for Falcons fans living in the state, sports betting in Georgia is not yet legal and won't be for at least a year, if not longer. Despite positive momentum in early 2023, a sports betting bill died in the Senate without a vote. Being that there are no casinos in Georgia, getting a brand new industry up and running could prolong a sports betting launch even once it passes through the legislation process.

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Atlanta Falcons Playoffs FAQs

Author

Adam Warner is the author of "Options Volatility Trading: Strategies for Profiting from Market Swings", a former financial writer for Schaeffers Research, and freelance writer for Minyanville.com and StreetInsight.com. Previously, Adam was a Market Maker on the American Stock Exchange and a graduate of Johns Hopkins University.

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