It turns out there’s a force in the world that is more powerful than the ability of the Atlanta Falcons to choke away a game, that force is how “anti-clutch” kicker Blair Walsh is.
Walsh missed a game-tying field goal in the final seconds of Monday Night Football that gave the Atlanta Falcons a 34-31 victory on the road against the Seattle Seahawks.
Why is this important? It’s big for the Dallas Cowboys and their hopes of a Wildcard berth in the NFC.
Many Cowboys fans entered MNF rooting for the Seahawks because of the fact that, due to their Week 10 victory over them, the Falcons have the tiebreaker over the Cowboys should it come down to that.
The thing is, assuming the Cowboys put it together (a large assumption these days), it likely won’t come down to that. The Falcons are now 6-4, and their remaining schedule is tough:
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-6)
- Minnesota Vikings (8-2)
- New Orleans Saints (8-2)
- at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-6)
- at New Orleans Saints (8-2)
- Carolina Panthers (7-3)
Five of the Falcons six remaining games are within their division. That’s absurd honestly, but thankfully for the Cowboys the NFC South is kind of spicy.
The non-division game for the Falcons in that stretch happens to be against the super hot Minnesota Vikings. It’s fairly conceivable to see the Falcons losing three, maybe even four of these games.
Say the Falcons did drop a hat trick of games through Week 17, that would put them at 9-7 on the season. I realize I’m saying this about a team that’s scored 16 points in the last eight quarters, but that’s not the most difficult thing to beat for the Cowboys.
Seattle has a bit of an easier road than Atlanta over the next six weeks, which is precisely why it worked to the benefit of the Cowboys to have them lose. Russell Wilson and Co. still have their work cut out for them:
- at San Francisco (1-9)
- Philadelphia Eagles (9-1)
- at Jacksonville Jaguars (7-3)
- Los Angeles Rams (7-3)
- at Dallas Cowboys (5-5)
- Arizona Cardinals (4-6)
Last week I discussed all of what the Cowboys playoff chances will hinder on, and one of those could potentially be 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. San Francisco hosts Seattle this week, and considering that they’re coming off of their bye, now might be when they unveil the quarterback they traded for.
Additionally, as much as Cowboys fans are going to detest this, we need the Eagles to beat the Seahawks in Week 13. Philadelphia is winning the NFC East whether we want to admit it or not, we might as well have them aid our Wildcard hopes by weakening a team that’s also in contention.
On top of all that, the Cowboys also have the opportunity to play the Seahawks themselves (Ezekiel Elliott’s return). The Seahawks have a lighter road than the Falcons, and the Cowboys can influence it on top of that.
The Cowboys haven’t been doing themselves any favor as of late, and if they don’t then this is all moot. We enter Week 12 with the Cowboys having a very fair chance, it’s just a matter if they can do anything with it or not.