As the NFL season heads into its middle third after six riveting weeks, the league’s hierarchy is beginning to take shape. A group of contenders has emerged at the top of the sport, while teams at the bottom of the standings are slowly beginning to dream of draft season. But how do the franchises in the middle of the pack fit in?
With nine teams currently sitting at 3-3, including the Atlanta Falcons, BetGeorgia.com - thinking with a Georgia sports betting state of mind - decided to utilize ChampsorChumps.us to examine how every 3-3 team has finished the season since 2012. This is how the 83 teams to start 3-3 over the last 11 years have fared in the end.
Season Results of 3-3 NFL Teams
Below you'll find some useful information regarding how 3-3 teams fare at the end of the season. This would be useful to those participating in Georgia sportsbook apps if they were legal.
Postseason Not Out of The Picture Yet
Last season proved to be a banner year for 3-3 teams. With the help of the expanded playoffs, six of the eleven teams that started 2022 3-3 made the postseason, the most in recent history. The Falcons playoff chances are still alive this season.
San Francisco, Cincinnati, Seattle, Baltimore, Miami, and the Los Angeles Chargers all found themselves at .500 after six games before earning playoff berths last year, with the 49ers and Bengals making runs all the way to their respective conference championship games. So, what does this year’s Falcons squad need to do in order to make their own postseason run after a .500 start through week six?
In order for Atlanta to contend, it starts with fixing the offense. The Falcons’ defense is playing admirably, holding opponents to the fourth fewest yards per game in the league, but the team is struggling to put up points, ranking 29th in scoring offense at just 16.5 points per game. This lack of offense has left Atlanta with a -21-point differential so far, the fourth worst mark among the league’s nine 3-3 teams, despite the Falcons having yet to allow more than 24 points in a game.
While the team has been able to move the ball in the middle of the field, already recording 124 first downs, tied for eighth in the NFL, Atlanta has failed far too often at finishing drives, scoring on only 29.9 percent of their possessions, the league’s sixth-worst clip. Additionally, ten turnovers and 19 sacks allowed, both bottom ten figures across football, have stymied the Falcons' production, as has the fact they have yet to score a touchdown from outside the red zone. Combine this with only four defensive takeaways, tied for second fewest in the league, and only the Raiders, Vikings, Browns and Patriots have a worse turnover differential than Atlanta’s -6.
Schedule Ahead Could Help Falcons Odds?
Luckily for the Falcons, their upcoming schedule should provide ample opportunity to rack up wins as Tankathon rates their remaining slate of games as the league’s easiest with their future opponents currently at just a .375 collective winning percentage. Although seven of Atlanta’s final eleven games are on the road, their two games against Tampa Bay this week and in week 14 are their only two contests left against a team with a winning record right now.
If the Falcons can clean up their offensive execution and improve their turnover margin, there is reason to believe a playoff appearance is possible given this schedule, especially because the defense may have some hidden upside still. Per Pro-Football-Reference, Atlanta ranks third in the NFL in pressure rate but is tied for 28th in sacks, meaning more big plays could be on the way with better pressure conversion.
DraftKings Sportsbook presently puts the Falcons at even money to make the playoffs, with their over/under win total at 8.5. The Falcons Super Bowl odds are at +7500. The 2014 Seattle Seahawks are the last team to start 3-3 and make the Super Bowl, while the 2010 Green Bay Packers remain the last team to claim the Lombardi Trophy after a 3-3 start.