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NFL playoff picture: What does Falcons-Steelers mean for NFC standings

The Falcons face the Steelers in Pittsburgh on Sunday. We break down what the game means for the NFL playoff picture.

Cordarrelle Patterson #84 of the Atlanta Falcons runs with the ball against the Washington Commanders at FedExField on November 27, 2022 in Landover, Maryland. Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

The Atlanta Falcons will host the Pittsburgh Steelers in a non-conference game on Sunday, December 4. Kickoff from Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia is set for 1 p.m. ET, with the game airing on CBS. The home Falcons are 1-point underdogs at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Falcons playoff picture

The Falcons head into this game with a 5-7 record, a half-game behind the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC South. Atlanta will have their bye week next week before finishing out the season. With the new playoff system, seven teams from each conference will make the playoffs. Heading into Week 13, Atlanta sits in eighth place in the NFC. With a win and a Bucs loss, the Falcons would head into their bye atop the division. Unless there is a strong late-season push and a cold streak by the teams in front of them, Atlanta doesn’t project to be able to get into the playoffs as a wild card team.

The Falcons have lost three of their last four games and head into this one off a 19-13 loss to the Washington Commanders. After their bye week, Atlanta will face the New Orleans Saints, Baltimore Ravens, Arizona Cardinals and then will end the season against Tampa Bay in Week 18.

Tiebreaker implications

The third tiebreaker for the NFC South standings is best record in common games. This follows head-to-head and divisional record. All four NFC South teams face the Steelers, so a win over Pittsburgh would boost Atlanta in that tiebreaker.