The Atlanta Falcons will travel to Detroit on Saturday (December 22) to take on the Lions, in a game with strong 2012 playoff implications.
Atlanta already has clinched the NFC South title with a 12-2 record, and beating the Lions would secure home-field advantage through the playoffs.
It's a similar scenario to 2010, when the Falcons won the division. However, Atlanta was humbled in the playoffs then by eventual Super Bowl champion Green Bay. And the fact is, Atlanta has not won a playoff game since the 2004 season, when Michael Vick was the starting QB.
Atlanta still has another game remaining, hosting Tampa Bay on December 30. But a victory over Detroit is the goal.
Coach Mike Smith told The Sporting News, "I think over the last two seasons, the teams that were playing well in December and got really rolling were the teams that had the most success and the teams that ultimately were the world champions. So I think momentum is very important."
WR Roddy White said recently: "I'm not talking until we reach our next goal and that's home-field advantage through the playoffs."
That's important, because Atlanta is unbeaten in the Georgia Dome this season.
-- Will the Falcons clinch home field advantage vs. Detroit? Will their playoff fate be different this year? Share your thoughts in the comments below.