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The NFC South After Week 16: The Falcons Take the Division

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The Saints spoil the Bucs, but help the Falcons in the process.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Coming into Week 16, the four NFC South teams played each other.Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers sat atop the division, with the Falcons holding the top spot based on tie-breakers. If the Buccaneers lost their game against the Saints, Atlanta would be secured the division crown. If Atlanta could win against Carolina, they would help their chances at the #2 seed in the playoff picture with a first-round Bye.

So what happened in Week 16?

With a last-second healthy scratch to RB Doug Martin, the Bucs were upset by New Orleans. Atlanta, on the other hand, was having no part of an upset loss, handling the Panthers with ease. This meant the Atlanta Falcons are officially the winners of the NFC South and still have their sights set on a first round Bye in the Wild Card round of this year’s postseason. The Buccaneers still have a chance one of the Wild Card spots in the NFC, but will need a win next week to help their chances.

Next week, Tampa Bay looks to keep their playoff hopes alive with a win at home versus the Carolina Panthers. The Saints will look to play spoiler for the second week in a row, taking on the Atlanta Falcons in the last game at the Georgia Dome before Atlanta moves to their new home next season.

While it might be nice to get as high of a draft pick as possible, it would be even nicer to spoil the Falcon’s shot at a first-round Bye and to take the last win at the Georgia Dome, putting a nice end to that Falcon’s chapter in their franchise.