Falcons headed to postseason, beating Vikings 24-17
Published 12:00 am Monday, December 22, 2008
The Atlanta Falcons capped an improbable comeback from a lost season Sunday, qualifying for the playoffs as a wild-card team by upsetting the Minnesota Vikings 24-17.
Denver, meanwhile, fell 30-23 to Buffalo while San Diego beat Tampa Bay 41-24. That sets up a showdown in San Diego for the AFC West title.
Five playoff berths need to be filled: three in the AFC and two in the NFC.
The AFC East is still up for grabs among Miami and New England (each 10-5) and the New York Jets (9-6). If Miami wins against the Jets, it wins the division. If the Jets win and New England wins at Buffalo, the Patriots take the title. If the Patriots lose and the Jets win, then the Jets are the champions.
If Baltimore (10-5) beats Jacksonville, it joins Indianapolis as a wild card.In the NFC, Minnesota (9-6) could clinch the North if Chicago (8-6) loses tonight to Green Bay. The Vikings also can clinch by beating the Giants at home next week or, if the Bears win tonight, with a loss by Chicago in Houston.Dallas (9-6) needs only to win at Philadelphia (8-6-1) to get in. If the Eagles win and Tampa (9-6) loses at home to Oakland and Chicago loses at least once, then Philadelphia makes it.