Originally written on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 11/13/14
It's been a while since the NFC playoffs looked so far out of reach, so early in the season for the Atlanta Falcons. Try their disastrous 2007 campaign. It's a first for the trio leading the Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, head coach Mike Smith and general manager Thomas Dimitroff. Since they arrived in 2008, the year after then-head coach Bobby Petrino quit with three games left and former quarterback Michael Vick went off to jail. Not even at the season's midpoint, the Falcons will likely require a miracle to earn a playoff berth, as they slipped three games under .500 (again) with a 27-13 loss to the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The game wasn't as close as the score might indicate. The 2009 Falcons the only team from the Ryan-Smith-Dimitroff era to miss the playoffs started off 4-1 before injuries led to a 9-7 finish. And the 2012 club, that was famously poised 10 yards from a trip to the Super Bowl, could not seem farther away at this point. NFC S...
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