FLOWERY BRANCH – The Falcons, projected by many to contend for the Super Bowl title, have been an epic failure in 2013.
Their freefall from the No. 1 seed in the NFC to last place could end in historic fashion.
Since the NFL started seeding teams for the playoffs in 1975, there have been 96 No. 1 seeds and only one – the 2003 Raiders – has comeback the following to season to finish in last place.
Currently, the Falcons are 4-10 and tied for last place with Tampa Bay with two games to play. The Falcons will not be favored in games at San Francisco and at home against Carolina.
Tampa Bay finishes with games at St. Louis and at the New Orleans. Looks like a 4-12 tie for the basement if the oddmakers are correct.
In addition to the 2003 Raiders, who slipped to 4-12 and finished in last place in the AFC West, there have only been six No. 1 seeds in the AFC to follow-up with a losing season – 2001 Tennessee (7-9), 2000 Jacksonville (7-9), 1999 Denver (6-10), 1998 Kansas City (7-9), 1993 Buffalo (7-9) and 1990 Denver (5-11).
The Falcons could be the first team in the NFC to go from No. 1 seed to last-place team.
The 1982 San Francisco 49ers went from No. 1 seed to 3-6 in the strike shorten season, but the Los Angeles Rams finished in last place at 2-7.
In addition to the 1982 San Francisco 49ers, there have been seven other NFC teams to follow up their No. 1 seed season with a losing record – 2007 Chicago (7-9), 2005 Philadelphia (6-10), 2001 St. Louis Rams (7-9), 2000 New York Giants (7-9), 1988 Chicago (6-10), 1987 New York Giants (6-9)*, 1982 San Francisco (3-6)* and 1981 Atlanta (7-9).
The Falcons were also the No. 1 seed for the 2010 season. They followed up that season with a 10-6 campaign before being eliminated in the playoffs by the New York Giants, 24-2.
*-- Strike seasons.
From 1970-1974, the NFL used a pre-determined playoff format whereby winning percentage was not considered.
Atlwebradio News Staff: