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Atlanta Falcons Improve the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Playoff Chances with Win on Thursday Night Football

November 30th, 2012 at 12:04 AM
By Wolf Heard

The sting of a one-point loss to the Atlanta Falcons last Sunday can still be felt by many Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans.

But those same Falcons helped the Bucs' playoff chances a little bit on Thursday.

The Falcons clashed with New Orleans Saints in a heated NFC South battle on Thursday Night Football and came away with a 23-13 win to improve to 11-1.

Atlanta's defense intercepted Drew Brees five times and ended his NFL record consecutive game streak with a touchdown pass at 54.

The win means Atlanta can now clinch the NFC South with a loss or a tie by the Bucs on Sunday against the Denver Broncos.

So why is this good for the Bucs?

Well, a second straight loss by the Saints means they are now 5-7 and a game behind the Bucs in the race for a wildcard spot. This is big for Tampa Bay because New Orleans currently holds the head-to-head tiebreaker thanks to a 35-28 win at Raymond James Stadium earlier this season.

Tampa Bay is currently the No. 7 in the NFC. At 6-5, they are tied with the Seattle Seahawks, who are currently in the No. 6 seed thanks to a better conference record than the Bucs.

The Bucs and Saints will meet each other again on December 16 in the Superdome.

Tags: Atlanta Falcons, Drew brees, Football, New Orleans, NFL, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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