UNITED STATES—After a poor start to the campaign where the Atlanta Falcons endured a three game losing streak, losing at home to the likes of Buffalo and Miami; the Falcons are still very much in with a shout of reaching the playoffs. On the back of a win over the Seahawks, they now head into a make or break period which sees them take on the Buccaneers, the Saints and the Panthers knowing that a playoff place is still achievable if they get the right results.

First of all, the main advantage that the Falcons have is that their fate rests solely in their own hands. If they win their remaining games, which they are very capable of doing, the team can go on to make the playoffs. However, another loss would really complicate matters and make qualification a difficult task, especially with so many other teams still in the playoff hunt after week 14.

As we’ve seen many times, the Falcons have the capabilities to really hit the heights, even following disappointment. They lost 14-9 to Minnesota last week, but then this week immediately bouncing back with a 20-17 victory over the Saints. Their latest victory will also stand them in good stead too, as they are due to play the Saints once again before the end of the campaign; and will head into the game with that win in mind.

It’s not going to be an easy task for the Falcons, especially with the pressure of knowing that they are in control of their own destiny. In some ways this can make things slightly harder and their remaining fixtures aren’t going to be easy, not by a long chalk. Offensively at times the Falcons have come unstuck, so if they are to end the season in the playoffs; it’s vital that they become more efficient in this area.

Things are changing with every passing game week, but as things stand, the current playoff picture sees the Falcons projected to finish in 6th place. This is thanks to their 20-17 home win against the New Orleans Saints last time out, followed by the Seahawks failing to beat the Jaguars. The reality is that the Falcons could finish in a number of different places depending on their own results, and the results of others too.

With the Falcons sat in 6th, their fate is very much in their own hands; but a slip up could be absolutely disastrous at this late stage. The Seahawks, Lions, Packers, Cowboys, Redskins and Cardinals are all still well in the hunt, and this will only serve to increase the pressure levels; as the Falcons look to make a permanent swoop on a play off place. A defeat in any of their last 3 games could see any of the other 6 sides get ahead and it would then be hard to turn things back around at such a late stage of the competition.

The next game for the Falcons is against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Falcon fans are expecting a win. This sentiment has been underlined by established sports betting operators like Unibet pricing the Falcons 2/5 odds-on favourites to walk away winners of the game. The future may not be set, but if the Falcons play their cards right and hold their nerve; it will be no surprise to see them in the playoffs, with all the confidence in the world.