FLOWERY BRANCH, GA - After squandering another chance to take control of their playoff fate, the Atlanta Falcons are beginning to realize this is the way it's going to be.
In all likelihood, the postseason race will come down to the final week.
The Falcons (7-5) are right in the thick of the wild-card race, tied with Detroit and Chicago, but their hopes of repeating as NFC South champions are beginning to fade. The first-place New Orleans Saints are now two games in front with only four weeks remaining, extending their lead with a win Sunday while Atlanta was taking a bitter loss in Houston.
The Texans knocked off the Falcons 17-10 with third-string quarterback T.J. Yates.
Atlanta takes on Cam Newton and the Panthers at Carolina on Sunday.