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NFL Playoff Picture: Falcons In Control Of Wild Card Spot

The Atlanta Falcons drubbed the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday night, to the tune of a 41-14 final score. That the Falcons won wasn't surprising, but the result was significant in that it secured the team's path to the playoffs. With the victory, Atlanta put itself in total control of an NFC Wild Card spot.

At 9-5, the Falcons simply need to win out to make the playoffs. Of course, with the New Orleans Saints on tap next week, going unscathed through Week 17 won't be easy. Should the Saints lose this week against the Minnesota Vikings (as unlikely as that may be) next Monday Night's game would have major implications on the NFC South, giving the Falcons a chance to make a late grab at the Division title.

The 8-5 Detroit Lions control their destiny as well for the second NFC Wild Card spot. The 7-6 Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys need some help but are also in the running for the playoffs. Further back, the 6-7 Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals still hold slim hopes that the chips may fall their way.

For more on the Falcons, head over the SB Nation blog The Falcoholic. Visit our StoryStream for more on the 2011 NFL Playoff picture.