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Atlanta Falcons Need to Ignore Distractions, Get Ready for the Playoffs

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We haven't written anything since the home loss to the Bucs on Sunday. Call it disappointment, apprehension or just bewilderment. Much like the Panthers loss, the Falcons didn't look like they had much interest in playing the game and the Bucs took it to them. In the NFL, you have to be able to put a bad game behind you and get ready to put that chin strap on the next week. For the Falcons, this entire season has been about getting to the playoffs and performing once the playoffs start.

The first thing to deal with before the playoffs is that fact that other teams want our coaches. Success is great, but when you are successful other teams will grab your coaches to try and turn around their franchise. The Falcons received some good news this week when Dirk Koetter canceled a couple of interviews and signed an extension through the 2013 season. Mike Nolan and (Special Teams coach) Keith Armstrong are also drawing interest from around the league.

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The next thing to worry about are the injuries. D'Led is reporting that Dunta Robinson will be ready for the playoffs and that John Abraham's injury is "minor". The Falcons have to have all of their key players on defense ready to go for the playoffs. Especially Abraham, William Moore and the starting corners.

All the Falcons can do right now is practice and prepare for the challenge in front of them. Mike Smith did tell the AJC  "We are not going to do anything like we did last time." We was referencing the 2010 playoffs when the Falcons had a bye but then got waxed by a hot Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. The Falcons will be practicing more this week and from the sound bytes it feels like they are a lot more grounded and understand that they simply aren't going to roll over their opponent just because they have a first round bye.

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As fans, all we can do is sit back this week and watch the playoffs. In the NFL, statistics are overrated but the Falcons are 3-3 against the NFC South and 13-0 against the rest of the NFL. None of the other NFC South teams are in he playoffs. Can we get it done this season?

Get more great Atlanta Falcons news and analysis at The Grits Blitz.