- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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Wrapping up Atlanta's victory against Seattle.
What it means: The Falcons are 12-2. They’ve won eight in a row and still are in the lead in the battle for the NFC South title and the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs. Although nothing besides a spot in the playoffs has been clinched at this point, the Falcons control their own destiny if they win out, and they likely still would be fine if they slipped up and lost one. Heck, they could even go into the final game of the season with the top spot locked up and rest their starters a bit.
Best news of the day: When the Falcons touch down in Atlanta after a five- (or so) hour flight from Seattle sometime in the middle of the night, they can rejoice that a three-game road swing came without a loss, and there’s a very real chance that they might not have to get on a plane again this season. If they do, the only scenario for that might mean a trip to Dallas for the Super Bowl.
Next-best news of the day: There’s no sense going into much detail of the play-by-play of a game that went precisely as it should have and didn’t really feature anything spectacular. In other words, Matt Ryan was efficient with three touchdown passes, Michael Turner ran relatively well and the defense produced some turnovers. In short, the Falcons did what they’ve been doing all season. They played smart football and didn’t beat themselves. You can win a lot of games when you do that.
What’s next: With New Orleans losing to Baltimore, the Dec. 27 Monday Night Football game between the Saints and Falcons loses a little of its luster with Atlanta in control. But these two teams don’t like each other and the last thing the Falcons want to do is let the Saints back into the NFC South race or do anything to help their playoff chances.