The calendar turned to December since the Falcons last played.
It’s the time of year when big football plans start to materialize.
“It’ll be fun for the teams involved,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “It ought to be fun for the fans and it’s going to be fun for the coaches. Football in December, it can’t get any better.”
The Falcons (11-1) wrapped up the NFC South title on Sunday. Denver’s 31-23 win over Tampa Bay (6-6) gave the Falcons a five-game lead with four games to play. New Orleans (5-7) is on playoff-life support and Carolina (3-9) is getting ready for next season.
The Falcons also picked up games on San Francisco (8-3-1) and Chicago (8-4) in the race for one of the top two playoffs seeds in the NFC, which come with a bye and a spot in the divisional round of the playoffs. The Falcons earned at least one home playoff game.