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Are Jets for real? Are Falcons done?

That was unexpected. Sure, the New York Jets entered "Monday Night Football" with a better record than the host Atlanta Falcons, but ... come on. These were the Falcons, they of a 13-3 record a season ago and, you know, a real quarterback. But wait -- rookie Geno Smith and Rex Ryan's crew outplayed Matt Ryan & Co. in a 30-28 last-second win. Now Atlanta is 1-4 and really on the outside of things. The Jets? They're 3-2, and -- dare we say it? -- hanging around the (early) playoff hunt.

  • Are the Falcons (1-4) done, in terms of playoff contention?

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      72%
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      28%

    Discuss (Total votes: 41,614)

  • Are the Jets (3-2) legit playoff contenders in the AFC?

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      39%
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      61%

    Discuss (Total votes: 11,834)

  • How many games will the Jets win this season?

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      15%
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      49%
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      36%

    Discuss (Total votes: 9,749)

  • The Falcons already have surpassed last season's loss total. How many games will Atlanta lose this season?

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      32%
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      44%
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      24%

    Discuss (Total votes: 9,592)

  • What grade would you give Geno Smith so far?

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      4%
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      48%
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      42%
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      4%
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      2%

    Discuss (Total votes: 23,735)

  • Is Mike Smith on the hot seat?

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      64%
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      36%

    Discuss (Total votes: 9,074)

  • Will Rex Ryan coach the Jets in 2014?

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      29%
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      59%
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      12%

    Discuss (Total votes: 8,835)

  • Which is the league's most surprising 3-2 team?

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      56%
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      4%
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      35%
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      5%

    Discuss (Total votes: 23,540)

  • Which surprising 3-2 team is most for real?

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      27%
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      20%
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      22%
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      31%

    Discuss (Total votes: 23,158)

  • Which team has been more disappointing?

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      39%
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      61%

    Discuss (Total votes: 49,254)

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Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

NFC South Preview -- 2013

For several years in the NFC South, it's been a back-and-forth battle between the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints, with last season's bout firmly landing in the Falcons' corner (those bounty scandal suspensions certainly didn't help the Saints). Now New Orleans is looking to rebound, Atlanta aims to take that next step (read: the Super Bowl) and those "other" two teams -- the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- hope to break into the postseason.

More: NFC East | NFC North | NFC West | AFC East | AFC North | AFC South | AFC West

  • Which team will win the NFC South?

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      4%
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      66%
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      5%
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      25%

    Discuss (Total votes: 35,980)

  • Will the Falcons reach the Super Bowl in the next three years?

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      61%
    •  
      39%

    Discuss (Total votes: 11,589)

  • Is Matt Ryan an elite quarterback?

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      70%
    •  
      30%

    Discuss (Total votes: 11,355)

  • Will the Saints make the playoffs this season?

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      64%
    •  
      36%

    Discuss (Total votes: 11,340)

  • Will Cam Newton ever be an elite quarterback?

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      51%
    •  
      49%

    Discuss (Total votes: 10,667)

  • Josh Freeman's contract is up after 2013. Is this Josh Freeman's final year as the Buccaneers' starting quarterback?

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      65%
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      35%

    Discuss (Total votes: 10,458)

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Falcons, Ryan finalize extension

This just in: Quarterbacks are valuable. Or so say several teams this offseason. The latest: the Atlanta Falcons, who on Wednesday, sources say, finalized a five-year, $103.75 million deal that includes $59 million guaranteed. This seems like a good value for the Falcons; quarterbacks, you know, matter, and Ryan just led Atlanta to the NFC Championship Game. Then again, he hasn't taken them any farther ...

  • What do you make of the Falcons' reported five-year, $103.75 million extension for Matt Ryan?

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      79%
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      21%

    Discuss (Total votes: 19,009)

  • Where does Matt Ryan rank among NFL quarterbacks?

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      19%
    •  
      69%
    •  
      12%

    Discuss (Total votes: 60,813)

  • Which quarterback's new deal is better for his team?

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      28%
    •  
      72%

    Discuss (Total votes: 57,482)

  • Which team will win the NFC South in 2013?

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      5%
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      72%
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      4%
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      19%

    Discuss (Total votes: 7,658)

  • How far will the Falcons go this season?

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      3%
    •  
      11%
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      34%
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      28%
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      24%

    Discuss (Total votes: 7,167)

  • Will Matt Ryan ever win a Super Bowl with the Falcons?

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      62%
    •  
      38%

    Discuss (Total votes: 7,198)

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We may not have the Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning matchup in the AFC Championship Game much of SportsNation wanted to see, but both championship games are loaded with talent. Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis and Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez are hoping to end their careers on top, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is two games away from winning a Super Bowl in his 10th career start, and Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan's 0-for-3 record in the playoffs is history after a thrilling 30-28 victory over the Seahawks. How do the best players remaining in the NFL playoffs stack up? Click the images to vote.

Super Bowl XLVII players

John Abraham

John Abraham

Falcons DE

Anquan Boldin

Anquan Boldin

Ravens WR

Tom Brady

Tom Brady

Patriots QB

Michael Crabtree

Michael Crabtree

49ers WR

Vernon Davis

Vernon Davis

49ers TE

Joe Flacco

Joe Flacco

Ravens QB

Tony Gonzalez

Tony Gonzalez

Falcons TE

Frank Gore

Frank Gore

49ers RB

Julio Jones

Julio Jones

Falcons WR

Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick

49ers QB

Ray Lewis

Ray Lewis

Ravens LB

Brandon Lloyd

Brandon Lloyd

Patriots WR

Jerod Mayo

Jerod Mayo

Patriots LB

Dennis Pitta

Dennis Pitta

Ravens TE

Ray Rice

Ray Rice

Ravens RB

Stevan Ridley

Stevan Ridley

Patriots RB

Matt Ryan

Matt Ryan

Falcons QB

Aldon Smith

Aldon Smith

49ers LB

Torrey Smith

Torrey Smith

Ravens WR

Michael Turner

Michael Turner

Falcons RB

Wes Welker

Wes Welker

Patriots WR

Roddy White

Roddy White

Falcons WR

Patrick Willis

Patrick Willis

49ers LB

Danny Woodhead

Danny Woodhead

Patriots RB

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Who are the Atlanta Falcons?

Some experts picked the Falcons as a Super Bowl contender this season, but a 24-2 loss against the Giants means Mike Smith and Matt Ryan are now 0-3 in the playoffs.

SportsNation

What's the verdict on Matt Ryan?

Ryan finished the regular season with the NFL's eighth-best passer rating, the third time in his four pro seasons he's been in the top 11.

SportsNation

Is Mike Smith too aggressive?

Mike Smith didn't let a fourth-down failure against the Saints earlier this season stop him from going twice in Sunday's game, once in easy field goal range with his team down 10-2.

SportsNation

Falcons, Panthers or Buccaneers?

The Saints are ahead of the Falcons at the moment, so we'll set them aside in the NFC South. But does Cam Newton give the Panthers the edge on the Falcons moving forward?

SportsNation

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