Atlanta Falcons


Last year’s Falcons were mostly healthy. Will this team be as lucky?

A pre-injury smile. (Curtis Compton/AJC) This season began with us — well, me — weighing separate beliefs regarding the Atlanta Falcons. First, that they have a really good team. Second, that they were coming off the worst loss any NFL team has ever suffered. Two games in, we’re starting to see another factor raise its head, and it’s the one we semi-learned...



Study values Falcons at almost $2.5 billion

Study values Falcons at almost $2.5 billion

The Falcons are worth $2.475 billion, according to Forbes’ annual valuations of NFL teams released Monday.  That represents a 16 percent increase from $2.13 billion a year ago -- and a 354 percent increase from the $545 million that Arthur Blank paid for the franchise in 2002.  The new study ranked the Falcons 15th among the 32 NFL teams in value.  The Dallas Cowboys ranked...
Lesson learned: The Falcons (and Sarkisian) ran the ball at the end!

Lesson learned: The Falcons (and Sarkisian) ran the ball at the end!

“Way to run that ball!” (AP Photo/John Bazemore) With 8:30 remaining in Houston, the Atlanta Falcons led 28-12 and faced third-and-1 at their 36. Kyle Shanahan called a pass. Devonta Freeman missed the blitzing Dont’a Hightower, who divested Matt Ryan from the ball. If you’re looking for the single most egregious moment in the greatest collapse in Super...
Overreaction Monday: Falcons (2-0), Georgia (3-0) can’t lose … ever!

Overreaction Monday: Falcons (2-0), Georgia (3-0) can’t lose … ever!

Falcons running back Devonta Freeman scores a touchdown for a 14-7 lead over the Packers during the second quarter Sunday night. The Falcons’ offense clicked in Week 2 after struggling in the season opener. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com) Welcome back to Overreaction Monday, the weekly blog that asks the question:  “Will Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth ever ...
Falcons defense has field day with Packers missing starting offensive tackles

Falcons defense has field day with Packers missing starting offensive tackles

The Atlanta Falcons got a nice house-warming gift from the Green Bay Packers on Sunday for the grand opening of Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Falcons defense highlighted the ribbon cutting ceremony by sacking Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers three times, forcing an interception and fumble out of the MVP and Super Bowl winning quarterback and keeping him under constant duress all night in their 34-23...
Bow Tie Chronicles: Falcons 34, Packers 23 

Bow Tie Chronicles: Falcons 34, Packers 23 

In this edition of The Bow Tie Chronicles (Atlanta Falcons Footbal)l podcast, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s D. Orlando Ledbetter discusses the five things we learned from the Falcons’ 34-23 victory over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday at at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.   
My take: Falcons’ offense flashes signs of explosiveness 

My take: Falcons’ offense flashes signs of explosiveness 

You can see it coming like a freight train rolling down the tracks. The Falcons offense is going to be special again. They have just scratched the surface and clearly are not firing on all cylinders after Sunday’s 34-23 victory over the Packers Sunday night to move to 2-0. However after 34 points – actually 27 because the defense chipped in with a touchdown – the sky appears to be...
Trufant comes up with two key turnovers 

Trufant comes up with two key turnovers 

Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant has been quietly working on his return to Pro Bowl form after suffering a gruesome torn pectoral injury last season. He missed the final seven games of the regular-season and the run to Super Bowl LI. “It was hard,” Trufant said after the Falcons beat the Packers 34-23 on Sunday. “I’m not going to sit here and say it wasn’t hard for...
Falcons hit hard with front-line injuries 

Falcons hit hard with front-line injuries 

The Falcons suffered a rash of injuries to front-line players in the 34-23 win over the Packers on Sunday night. All-Pro defensive end/linebacker Vic Beasley left the game with a hamstring injury and did not return. He had two tackles, a  big sack and a quarterback hit. He caused a fumble on his sack that cornerback Desmond Trufant scooped up and returned 15 yards for a touchdown in the...
What the Falcons had to say after win over Packers 

What the Falcons had to say after win over Packers 

“It’s all about the preparation during the week that gets us right for Sundays.” On the play against the Packers: “We added a lot of depth over the off season. When other guys get tired, one of the things we do well is provide a lot of depth. We can get lots of pressure with fresh legs.”  On face the Packers backup tackles: “We didn’t know who...
Watch: What Aaron Rodgers had to say after loss to Falcons 

Watch: What Aaron Rodgers had to say after loss to Falcons 

“We went to some three-step stuff. Tried to get the ball out quicker. They kind of changed later in the game and played some more two-man. Those guys did a good job of blocking it up.” “The one on Marty was, unfortunately, it was a terrible time for that. We had a 40-plus yard gain. It was 17-7 there. Obviously, I threw a pick a couple plays later and next thing it’s 24-7 instead...
What Matt Ryan had to say about win over Packers 

What Matt Ryan had to say about win over Packers 

Here’s what Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan had to say after the 34-23 win over the Packers on Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Staidum:  On the offensive game plan and efficiency: “I thought it was a great week of practice where guys were on top of the plan. You could tell from the walk-throughs, the practices that we had and the meetings we were having that guys kind of understood what...
The Falcons again send Rodgers packing and look great doing it

The Falcons again send Rodgers packing and look great doing it

Desmond Trufant for six. (AP Photo/David Goldman) They should have won Super Bowl LI. If they play like this, they’ll have a good shot at winning Super Bowl LII. (And Super Bowl LIII will be played in Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Just sayin’.) As fatalistic as the misdoings in Houston in February have left this already-skittish audience, we must face facts: There are...
Report card: Falcons 34, Packers 23

Report card: Falcons 34, Packers 23

Here are the grades for the Falcons from their 34-23 victory over the Packers in the first regular-season game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium before a festive soldout crowd of 70,826 on Sunday. Run offense: The run game wasn’t spectacular, but it was steady throughout to keep the offense diversified. Devonta Freeman scored one-yard and two-yard touchdowns to help power the offense in the...
Here are the inactives: Packers at Falcons 

Here are the inactives: Packers at Falcons 

The Falcons inactives for the game against the Packers are: wide receiver Nick Williams, safety Sharrod Neasman, running back Brian Hill, cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson, linebacker Jordan Tripp, left guard  Sean Harlow and tackle Austin Pasztor. The Packer inactives: running back Devante Mays, cornerback Lenzy Pipkins, linebacker Ahmad Brookes, tackle David Bakhtiari, tackle Bryan Bulaga, tackle...
Falcons, Packers meet in first regular-season game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Falcons, Packers meet in first regular-season game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Remember when the Falcons faced the Saints in the final game at the Georgia Dome in January, but then there was another game?  And then another?  Well, Sunday’s Falcons-Packers game will be the ‘second’ home opener at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and it appears the franchise saved the best for last.  A sellout crowd, national TV audience and the NFL commissioner are among...
5 things to know before tonight’s Packers at Falcons kickoff 

5 things to know before tonight’s Packers at Falcons kickoff 

Here are 5 things to mull over before tonight’s 8:30 p.m. kickoff between the defending NFC champion Atlanta Falcons (1-0) and the Green Bay Packers (1-0) in the first regular-season game at the plush $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium. 1. ON THE HOT SEAT: New starting right guard Wes Schweitzer is on the hot seat. He’ll face the Packers massive defensive tackles Mike Daniels and...
Big night, big game: Can we trust the Falcons to handle it?

Big night, big game: Can we trust the Falcons to handle it?

They have beaten the Packers a few times, you know. (Curtis Compton/AJC) Through 2.75 playoff games – the divisional round, the NFC championship and the first 42 minutes and 53 seconds of the Super Bowl – the Falcons had outscored their opposition 128-44. Those foes included Seattle, Green Bay and New England, each of which had taken a Lombardi Trophy over the previous...
How many workers will it take to clean, convert Mercedes-Benz Stadium? 

How many workers will it take to clean, convert Mercedes-Benz Stadium? 

About 950 workers will be involved in the cleanup and conversion of Mercedes-Benz Stadium from a soccer venue Saturday to a football venue Sunday night, according to stadium officials.  This weekend’s Atlanta United and Falcons games mark the first time the new stadium has hosted events on back-to-back days.  The 2-million-square-foot stadium will be cleaned overnight, including trash...
POLL: How many passes will Julio Jones catch vs. the Packers?

POLL: How many passes will Julio Jones catch vs. the Packers?

Atlanta Falcons’ Julio Jones catches a touchdown pass during the second half of the NFL football NFC championship game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman) Here’s a chart of what Julio Jones has done in four games against the Packers. In the poll below, let us know how many catches you think he’ll have against the...
Sarkisian must figure out way to get Julio Jones the ball against Packers

Sarkisian must figure out way to get Julio Jones the ball against Packers

  Here’s Falcons receiver Julio Jones’ spectacular catch that nearly saved the Falcons from their Super Bowl collapse. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM Green Bay defensive coordinator Dom Capers had tried everything to stop Falcons two-time All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones. He’s tried leaving him in one-on-one coverage. (That usually doesn’t work out to well...
Liquidating the Georgia Dome: Memorabilia sale underway

Liquidating the Georgia Dome: Memorabilia sale underway

  As the Falcons settle into the shiny new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, fans with fond memories of the soon-to-be-imploded building next door can buy Georgia Dome memorabilia over the next two weeks.  Schneider Industries, an asset liquidation company hired to sell off the contents of the Falcons’ former home, said Friday it will conduct an online auction of Dome souvenirs until Sept...
9 things to know about the big weekend at Mercedes-Benz Stadium

9 things to know about the big weekend at Mercedes-Benz Stadium

More than 140,000 fans are expected at Mercedes-Benz Stadium this weekend for Atlanta United and Atlanta Falcons home games. Saturday’s Atlanta United match against Orlando City will be the third at Mercedes-Benz for the first-year franchise, and a new Major League Soccer single-game attendance record is expected to be set in the latest meeting of the southern MLS rivals. Twenty-four...
Blank savors plan to open stadium roof Sunday

Blank savors plan to open stadium roof Sunday

Arthur Blank was thrilled to get some good news about Mercedes-Benz Stadium’s retractable roof.  “Steve (Cannon, CEO of Blank’s businesses) came to me a week or 10 days ago,” Blank said Friday, “and told me that weather permitting we could plan to open the roof this Sunday night. And he said, ‘We ought to just go ahead and do it.’”  The Falcons...
Austin Hooper super duper for the Falcons

Austin Hooper super duper for the Falcons

Austin Hooper landed in high fantasy-football cotton Sunday after trucking a Bears defensive back on his way to an NFL record, and yes, the fantasy value of his 88-yard touchdown reception was real to the Falcons’ second-year pro. That was the longest touchdown ever scored by a tight end in the NFL’s first week, a bona-fide super-duper Hooper moment. More important, after Hooper became...
DVR alert: Falcons feature on NFL GameDay Morning

DVR alert: Falcons feature on NFL GameDay Morning

FLOWERY BRANCH — The NFL Network’s Andrea Kremer was here during training camp to work on a feature that is set to air at 7 a.m. Sunday. (This training has been closed to local media that’s not affiliated with the league or team.) It’s a story on the Falcons training with retired Navy Seals and looking to overcome the loss in the Super Bowl on the network’s  ...
Falcons say Sunday’s game is sold out

Falcons say Sunday’s game is sold out

The Falcons said early today that all available tickets from the team’s inventory have been sold for Sunday night’s regular-season home opener against the Green Bay Packers at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Falcons missed their long-stated goal of selling out of personal seat licenses by the home opener. But seats that remain unsold as PSLs were sold to groups for Sunday’s game...
Falcons’ new coordinators face major test against Packers  

Falcons’ new coordinators face major test against Packers  

Falcons coordinators Steve Sarkisian and Marquand Manuel are fresh off working their first NFL games in their new positions. Both will face major challenges when the Falcons (1-0) face the Green Bay Packers (1-0) at 8:30 p.m. Sunday in the regular-season opener at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.   “I was really pleased with the communications,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said of their debuts...
Q&A: What Morgan Burnett had to say about the Falcons 

Q&A: What Morgan Burnett had to say about the Falcons 

Green Bay Packers safety Morgan Burnett, who played at Georgia Tech and North Clayton High, is in his eighth season in the NFL. He’s one of the key cogs in the Packers’ defense as a safety and linebacker, who moves around the different alignments. Burnett, who’s made 91 starts in the NFL, spoke to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in a phone interview on Thursday. Here’s what...
LEADOFF: Busy weekend at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, during and between games

LEADOFF: Busy weekend at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, during and between games

It’s going to be quite a busy weekend at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. A total of about 140,000 fans are expected for an Atlanta United match at 4 p.m. Saturday and the Falcons’ regular-season home opener at 8:30 p.m. Sunday. And consider what must happen in the roughly 24-hour period from the end of the soccer game until the gates open for the football game: The seating bowl, concourses...
Five things to know about the Falcons on Friday 

Five things to know about the Falcons on Friday 

Here are five things to know about the Falcons on Friday: 1. Goodell to visit. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell -- @NFLcommish on Twitter – will attend the Falcons’ home opener on Sunday night.  2. Practice. The Falcons will practice at 12:20 p.m. today. Coach Dan Quinn will speak to the media after practice.  3. Obit on Hawkins. Coach Dan Reeves and Jeff Van Note spoke highly...
Original Atlanta Falcon Alex Hawkins lived life to the fullest

Original Atlanta Falcon Alex Hawkins lived life to the fullest

When you carry the title of “Original Atlanta Falcon” and nicknames such as “Mr. Irreverent” and “Captain Who?” as Alex Hawkins did to his death Tuesday, you’d better have soul and tales to tell. The former running back, receiver and special-teams ace topped those lists before he died at age 80 in a Columbia, S.C., assisted-living facility near his home...
Steve Sarkisian on Jones: ‘I’d be foolish not to try to get him the ball’

Steve Sarkisian on Jones: ‘I’d be foolish not to try to get him the ball’

Falcons offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian spoke to the media on Thursday. Here’s what he had to say:  On the operation of the offense in game one: “I thought the operation went well. We’ve had that line of communication as a staff for the four (exhibition) season games and then with the quarterbacks throughout practice. I thought having all of the players every...
Falcons must fix flags, missed tackles 

Falcons must fix flags, missed tackles 

It was a coach’s nightmare. Flags were flying everywhere, and the normally sure-tackling team was whiffing at a high rate. The Falcons needed a walk-off sack on a fourth-and-goal play Sunday to overcome and earn a messy 23-17 win over the Chicago Bears in their season opener. Afterward, Falcons coach Dan Quinn wanted to eliminate those mistakes immediately.  He suspects that a similar effort...
Really? Travel website ranks Mercedes-Benz Stadium No. 5

Really? Travel website ranks Mercedes-Benz Stadium No. 5

Really? No. 5? The travel website Thrillest ranked all 31 NFL stadiums and were not ultimately impressed with the $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The site ranked the NFL’s newest stadium at fifth behind (from first to fourth): Dallas’ AT&T Stadium, Seattle’s CenturyLink Field, Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field and Green Bay’s Lambeau Field. You can add Thrillest to the growing...
Falcons’ home opener brings Michaels, ‘Sunday Night Football’ to new stadium

Falcons’ home opener brings Michaels, ‘Sunday Night Football’ to new stadium

Sportscaster Al Michaels, who called a World Series in Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium and a Super Bowl in the Georgia Dome, will broadcast the first regular-season NFL game in Mercedes-Benz Stadium.  The Falcons’ home opener against the Green Bay Packers will be televised on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football,” which last season averaged 20.3 million viewers to rank as prime-time...
Weekend Predictions: Falcons over Packers, karma over powerweasels

Weekend Predictions: Falcons over Packers, karma over powerweasels

Before getting into the third meeting in 11 months between the Falcons and Packers — none in Green Bay in the winter, because it turns out there is a sportswriter travel god after all and I can make only so many jokes about tubby fans stuffed into orange and camouflage hunting jumpsuits; actually maybe there’s no limit — let’s go to the news. It...
Ticket prices for Falcons’ regular season home opener decrease

Ticket prices for Falcons’ regular season home opener decrease

One of the hottest tickets in town for months has been the Atlanta Falcons regular-season home opener against the Green Bay Packers at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday. Over the past month, however, ticket prices have dropped on the secondary market. When comparing single-game tickets in the 300 level of Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Aug. 23 before the Falcons’ two home exhibition games and then...
Injury report: Mack to return to full practice

Injury report: Mack to return to full practice

Falcons starting center Alex Mack will return to full participation in practice on Thursday, coach Dan Quinn said. The team is set to start practice at 2:20 p.m.  Mack was limited on Wednesday with a back injury. Also, Quinn said he is not overly concerned with rookie Duke Riley’s knee injury. He said that Riley has made a lot of progress but would still be limited in practice.  ...
Scout to McGinn: ‘Atlanta’s secondary isn’t very good’

Scout to McGinn: ‘Atlanta’s secondary isn’t very good’

Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant is called for pass interference against Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans as safety Ricardo Allen makes what may have been an interception during the second half in a football game on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015, in Atlanta. The Falcons were defeated 23-20 by the Buccaneers in over time. (Curtis Compton/Ccompton@ajc.com) FLOWERY BRANCH &mdash...
Manuel: Defense must have ‘cleats in the dirt and be ready to go’ against Rodgers

Manuel: Defense must have ‘cleats in the dirt and be ready to go’ against Rodgers

Falcons defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel has a unique perspective of Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The former defensive back played with Rodgers and the Packers during the 2006 season and faced him everyday in practice. “He’s a tremendous athlete,” Manuel said.  He plans to have his unit ready for the Packers’ high-octane offense and Rodgers knack for catching...
Local logo unveiled for Atlanta’s 2019 Super Bowl 

Local logo unveiled for Atlanta’s 2019 Super Bowl 

Atlanta’s host committee for the 2019 Super Bowl has taken a small but symbolic step in its early preparations for the big event: adopting an official logo.  The committee unveiled Thursday its red-and-gray logo, which prominently features the city’s name and a representation of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium retractable roof.  “This now gives us an opportunity to get the message...
Analytics: Aaron Rodgers’ cadence, quick plays

Analytics: Aaron Rodgers’ cadence, quick plays

The Falcons’ defenders must find the proper balance on defense against the Packers.  They must attack Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, but they also have to remain calm and not go for his “hard cadence.”  Rodgers is skilled at pulling teams’ offenses and then taking deep shots down the field.  His other crafty move is get to the line of scrimmage quickly...
3 key matchups: Packers at Falcons 

3 key matchups: Packers at Falcons 

Packers WR Randall Cobb vs. Falcons NB Brian Poole: Cobb had a strong showing in the opener against Seattle, with nine catches for 85 yards, including a long of 29 yards. He had six catches for 82 yards in the NFC Championship game. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers looks for Cobb on third downs.  “He’s a great player,” Poole said. “He’s very competitive. It’s not...
LEADOFF: NFL commissioner Goodell will attend Falcons’ home opener

LEADOFF: NFL commissioner Goodell will attend Falcons’ home opener

Good morning. This is LEADOFF, the early buzz in Atlanta sports.  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will attend the Falcons’ first regular-season game in Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday night.  NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy confirmed Goodell’s plans in an e-mail Wednesday.  It will be Goodell’s first look at the $1.5 billion stadium since cranes were removed from what...
What Matt Ryan said about Packers

What Matt Ryan said about Packers

On the Packers’ Nitro package: “I’ve seen different personnel groupings from them, where they’ve got five (defensive backs) and six (defensive backs) in there. They’ll match against all personnel groupings, so we’ve got to be on top of our communications for sure on the offensive side of the ball and make sure that we are identifying which personnel groupings...
On the hot seat: Falcons guard Wes Schweitzer 

On the hot seat: Falcons guard Wes Schweitzer 

New starting right guard Wes Schweitzer will be on the spot when the Falcons host the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. He’ll have to face their massive defensive tackles Mike Daniels and Kenny Clark, who are fresh off of their dismantling of the interior of Seattle’s offensive line. “I’m just going to go out there and play,” Schweitzer said. He was drafted in the sixth round...
Former Falcon Alex Hawkins dead at age 80

Former Falcon Alex Hawkins dead at age 80

Former Falcons player and broadcaster Alex Hawkins died at the age of 80 in Columbia, S.C. on Tuesday. News of the passing  was confirmed by Jim Keith of Keith Funeral and Cremation Services in Hilton Head, S.C. Hawkins died of natural causes. He was a halfback, flanker and wide receiver for the Falcons in 1966 and 1967. Hawkins went to South Carolina and was drafted in the second round...
Falcons-Packers 3: NFC foes meet for third time in 11 months 

Falcons-Packers 3: NFC foes meet for third time in 11 months 

The first matchup was a regular-season nailbiter and the second was a postseason blowout. So what’s in store for Falcons-Packers 3 this weekend at Mercedes-Benz Stadium? Sunday’s nationally-televised contest will be the first regular-season game in the new $1.5 billion facility and the third meeting between the NFC foes in 11 months. Atlanta edged Green Bay 33-32 last October in Week 8...
What Packers coach Mike McCarthy had to say about the Falcons 

What Packers coach Mike McCarthy had to say about the Falcons 

Here’s what coach Packers head coach Mike McCarthy had to say about his team and the Falcons during a conference call with the Atlanta media on Wednesday:  A: “Mike played a great game. When you give out a game ball to one of your players it reflects on how he played. Mike was dominate in the game. That was especially a performance that we’d like to build off of.” A: &ldquo...
Packers coach McCarthy says Falcons’ ‘speed is very apparent’

Packers coach McCarthy says Falcons’ ‘speed is very apparent’

Packers head coach Mike McCarthy knows at least one thing for sure before his team plays Atlanta Sunday night in Mercedes-Benz Stadium: the Falcons are going to be flying around on defense. “They have excellent team speed,” McCarthy said on a Wednesday teleconference with Atlanta media. “Their linebackers are probably as fast a group as you’ll see through the league.&rdquo...
Tweetcap of Dan Quinn’s Wednesday press conference

Tweetcap of Dan Quinn’s Wednesday press conference

Falcons coach Dan Quinn addressing the media on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017. (By D. Orlando Ledbetter/dledbetter@ajc.com) FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcon coach Dan Quinn answered questions from the  media on Tuesday as the team started preparation for the Green Bay Packers at 8:30 p.m. Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Falcons defeated the Packers 44-21 in the NFC Championship...
Bow Tie Chronicles: Coaching rookies is like smoking a turkey 

Bow Tie Chronicles: Coaching rookies is like smoking a turkey 

Here’s the fifth episode of The Bow Tie Chronicles podcast! We discuss how coaching rookies is like a smoking turkey. You better have patience if you want the product to turn out right. We also take a look at the Green Bay Packers and some of the defensive performances against the Bears while offering a tribute to the great Walter Becker, the Howard Bison and Caylin Newton (Grady High) and Georgia...
Cover 9@9: Brooks Reed unlikely hero for the Falcons

Cover 9@9: Brooks Reed unlikely hero for the Falcons

CHICAGO, IL – SEPTEMBER 10: Brooks Reed #50 of the Atlanta Falcons celebrates with teammates after sacking Mike Glennon #8 of the Chicago Bears on the next to last play during the season opening game at Soldier Field on September 10, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The Falcons defeated the Bears 23-17. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) Good morning! Welcome to...
Five things to know about the Falcons on Wednesday 

Five things to know about the Falcons on Wednesday 

Here are five things to know about the Falcons on Wednesday: 1. Practice. The Falcons had “Victory Monday” and Tuesday was their normal off day. They return to practice today. 2. Return of the Packers. The Packers opened the season with a 17-9 win over Seattle. Here’s a quick look at the Packers. 3. Top 10 plays. Here are JuliaKate Culpepper’s top 10 plays from Week...
Falcons release official depth chart for Packers’ game 

Falcons release official depth chart for Packers’ game 

For Falcons coach Dan Quinn the depth chart is a living and breathing document. It’s fluid and as the Czar of football he can make changes and revise later.  In the mean time, we’ll revise the chart for him accordingly.  For instance, Courtney Upshaw is listed as an end, but played both tackle and end against the Chicago Bears. Quinn told us that was coming after Ra&rsquo...
Reeves, 6 Falcons, 4 Bulldogs on list of modern-era Hall of Fame nominees 

Reeves, 6 Falcons, 4 Bulldogs on list of modern-era Hall of Fame nominees 

Former Falcons coach Dan Reeves, six former Falcons and four former Georgia Bulldogs are in the group of 108 modern-era nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s class of 2018, which was released Tuesday.  Reeves was the first coach to guide the Falcons to the Super Bowl back in 1999. He also took Denver to three Super Bowls and is in their Ring of Fame. The former Falcons include guard/tackle...
McKinley played well over 14 snaps in NFL debut 

McKinley played well over 14 snaps in NFL debut 

Falcons rookie defensive end Takkarist McKinley, who was selected in the first round (26th overall) of the 2017 draft, played 14 snaps in his NFL debut against the Bears.  He had two tackles and two quarterback hurries off of bull-rushes. “I really felt his speed off the edge,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. “In particular, one play where it was a pass that was thrown and he...
A quick look at the Green Bay Packers  

A quick look at the Green Bay Packers  

Good news: Weather permitting, the roof will be open when the Falcons face the Green Bay Packers at 8:30 p.m. Sunday at the plush $1.5 billion football cathedral, the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Bad news: The defense that the Falcons shredded 44-21 in the NFC Championship game to earn the franchise’s second trip to the Super Bowl is not coming. The unit has been retooled with five new starters and...
Snap judgments from Week One in NFL

Snap judgments from Week One in NFL

Just thought you’d enjoy a photo of Tom Brady, horizontal. (Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) If you insist upon jumping to irresponsible and rash conclusions based on the first week of the NFL season, well, good for you. We need your type here on the digital platform, where rashness is the clover we all graze upon. Given a whole 1/16 th of the season to assay, we can say with...
Poe adds power to Falcons’ inside defense

Poe adds power to Falcons’ inside defense

Falcons defensive tackle Dontari Poe, a free-agency addition, had a strong debut with his new team Sunday. Poe played 43 snaps and led the team with three quarterback hurries and one quarterback hit against the Bears. “It was good, although it may not have shown up on the stats sheet,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said after the Falcons’ 23-17 win. “One of the passes deflected,...
Five things to know about the Falcons on Tuesday 

Five things to know about the Falcons on Tuesday 

Here are five things to know about the Falcons on Tuesday: 1. Hurricane relief. The Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United released a joint announcment on Monday to encourage donations to the Red Cross, United Way and World Vision to help those recently affected by hurricane damage. 2. PSL sales. The Falcons will play their first regular-season  game in Mercedes-Benz Stadium without having met...
Falcons believe Schweitzer can improve from tough NFL debut 

Falcons believe Schweitzer can improve from tough NFL debut 

The Falcons’ victory over the Chicago Bears was not an artistic masterpiece. The curator from the Pro Football Hall of Fame is not going to call and ask for a copy of the video to display for the masses. And that’s just fine with coach Dan Quinn. Before the Falcons (1-0) face the Green Bay Packers (1-0) at the regular-season home opener at 8:30 p.m. Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium...
Photos: Georgians in the NFL Week 1

Photos: Georgians in the NFL Week 1

There are approximately 135 players in the NFL from Georgia. Here’s how a few of them fared in Week 1 of the 2017 regular season.
Tweetcap of Dan Quinn’s Monday conference call

Tweetcap of Dan Quinn’s Monday conference call

Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn talks to reporters during a news conference after an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy) FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcon coach Dan Quinn answered questions from the  media on Monday to address the aftermath of the 23-17 win over the Chicago Bears. Here are some...
The Falcons’ opener? Unimpressive. But openers can deceive

The Falcons’ opener? Unimpressive. But openers can deceive

Austin Hooper, featured receiver. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh) Were I equipped with no institutional memory – or I were utterly disingenuous – I’d take the Atlanta Falcons’ exceedingly halting victory over the Chicago Bears as evidence to support my oft-stated contention that Steve Sarkisian will never be half as good as Kyle Shanahan ...
Overreaction Monday: Everybody wins (but everybody has issues)

Overreaction Monday: Everybody wins (but everybody has issues)

Brooks Reed of the Falcons celebrates with teammates after sacking Chicago’s Mike Glennon, effectively clinch a win over the Bears Sunday at Chicago’s Soldier Field. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) Back home from “Georgia Takeover Weekend” in Chicago and South Bend, Ind. I’ve never seen anything like Saturday, when half of Notre Dame’s stadium was...
Falcons will miss goal of PSL sellout by home opener 

Falcons will miss goal of PSL sellout by home opener 

  The Falcons will play their first regular-season game in Mercedes-Benz Stadium without having met the organization’s long-time goal to sell out of personal seat licenses.  Slightly more than 57,000 seat licenses have been sold, leaving “around 2,500” still available, according to Falcons chief revenue officer Michael Drake. He acknowledged for the first time that the...
Atlanta United 3, Dallas 0: Player ratings

Atlanta United 3, Dallas 0: Player ratings

My player ratings for Atlanta United following Sunday’s 3-0 win against Dallas at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the first soccer game in the $1.5 billion stadium: Goalkeeper Brad Guzan, 7: Finger-tip save on a header late in the first half. ... Made a leaping save to his right in the 60th minute when Dallas was pressing to try to get into the game... Finished with two saves and distributed the ball...
The Bow Tie Chronicles: 5 things we learned from the win over the Bears 

The Bow Tie Chronicles: 5 things we learned from the win over the Bears 

The Falcons defeated the Chicago Bears, 23-17, with a game-clinching sack from defensive end Brooks Reed with :03 left in the game.  It was a benchmark day in the careers of Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and Austin Hooper.  We discuss the five things we learned from the victory in this podcast episode of The Bow Tie Chronicles:
Five things to know about the Falcons on Monday

Five things to know about the Falcons on Monday

The Falcons needed some late heroics from tight end Austin Hooper and defensive end Brooks Reed to defeat the Bears 23-17 on Sunday at Soldier Field in Chicago.  Here are five things to know about the Falcons on Monday:  1. The roof. The Falcons plan to open the retractable roof of Mercedes-Benz Stadium for Sunday night’s home opener against the Packers if weather conditions...
Falcons plan to open roof for home opener if weather cooperates 

Falcons plan to open roof for home opener if weather cooperates 

The Falcons plan to open the retractable roof of Mercedes-Benz Stadium for next Sunday night’s home opener against the Green Bay Packers if weather conditions are favorable.  It would be the first time an event is held in the new $1.5 billion stadium with the roof open – and the first open-air Falcons game in Atlanta since Dec. 15, 1991, the team’s final game at Atlanta-Fulton...
Ho-hum, Falcons win without all the offensive flash

Ho-hum, Falcons win without all the offensive flash

Chicago Bears defensive end Akiem Hicks sacks Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan Sunday. That’s OK, the Falcons won. (Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune/TNS) CHICAGO – So, yeah, the bar got set just a little high a year ago. But who’s fault is that? In 2016, the Falcons spit out points like a Pez dispenser does treats. They put up nearly 34 points a game, got their...
What Dan Quinn had to say after win over Bears 

What Dan Quinn had to say after win over Bears 

Here’s what Falcons coach Dan Quinn had to say after the 23-17 victory over the Chicago Bears on Sunday:    Opening Statement: “Before we get rolling, first wanted to recognize that there was a lot of red and black in the stadium today, and man did that feel good. With all the crowd we brought with us from Atlanta today, and before we get going, I know there was a lot of...
What Matt Ryan had to say after the win over the Bears

What Matt Ryan had to say after the win over the Bears

Here’s what Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan had to say after the 23-17 win over the Bears Sunday: “Yeah, just hung on long enough to be able to find him. It was great job of him of staying alive. We were working on it to start in a third-down situation trying to find him. He did a good job of keeping the man on but there was a guy inside him so I tried to move on the progression side to...
Falcons’ opening act better than their closing (but not by much)

Falcons’ opening act better than their closing (but not by much)

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan celebrates with tight end Austin Hooper after their 88-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on September 10, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) CHICAGO — If you were looking for an emphatic statement, something that screamed, “We are onto a new season and we will destroy...
Falcons leave Chicago seeing yellow 

Falcons leave Chicago seeing yellow 

The Bears used to play in the old NFC Central, which was known as the “Black and Blue” division for the brutally physical play. But the Falcons are leaving the Windy City seeing yellow, as in the color of eight penalty flags for 73 yards. Still, the Falcons managed a 23-17 win over the Bears in the season opener Sunday. The special teams units had three penalties as Kemal Ishmael, C.J...
Falcons keep defeat at arm’s length thanks to Hooper 

Falcons keep defeat at arm’s length thanks to Hooper 

Austin Hooper was so wide open this could have been just another drill, like the ones he and Matt Ryan ran this offseason in SoCal. But this was September, on a Southern California-type day transplanted on the shore of Lake Michigan. And this was a real game against a real defense that was supposed to know better. With the Falcons holding a tenuous lead all afternoon Sunday, their second-year tight...
What Falcons had to say after win over Bears 

What Falcons had to say after win over Bears 

Here’s what the Falcons had to say after their 23-17 win over the Chicago Bears on Sundayh at Soldier Field.    AUSTIN HOOPER, tight end  "For one play they got nosy and a veteran quarterback made them pay. I just caught it with no one around me for 30 yards and strided in there.” “I feel a lot more comfortable (in second year). There’s a lot I&rsquo...
Brooks Reed comes up with game-clinching sack 

Brooks Reed comes up with game-clinching sack 

Brooks Reed had been setting up his loop rush all game. The Falcons defensive end would try to power through the inside shoulder of Bears right tackle Bobby Massie. With the Bears threatening to score from the Falcons’ 5-yard on fourth down in the final seconds, Reed went to the outside and pummeled Chicago quarterback Mike Glennon. The walk-off sack secured the Falcons’ 23-17 victory...
Report card: Falcons 23, Bears 17 

Report card: Falcons 23, Bears 17 

Here are the grades for the Falcons from their 23-17 win over the Bears on Sunday at Chicago’s Soldier Field. Run offense: The Falcons rushing attack was stymied. New offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian tried to feature Tevin Coleman early, but he was bottled up. Quarterback Matt Ryan had the longest gain of the game with a 13-yard scramble. Devonta Freeman scored on a 5-yard touchdown...
Here are the Falcons’ inactives 

Here are the Falcons’ inactives 

The Bears were without two starters in cornerback Prince Amukamara and offensive guard Kyle Long in the regular-season. The Falcons inactives are: wide receiver Nick Williams, safety Sharrod Neasman, running back Brian Hill, safety Blidi Wreh-Wilson, linebacker Jordan Tripp, rookie left guard Sean Harlow and tackle Austin Pasztor.  The other Bears inactives were quarterback Mark Sanchez, wide...
Carter, Bellamy turn in monster games in front of NFL scouts 

Carter, Bellamy turn in monster games in front of NFL scouts 

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- With four NFL scouts and a representive from the Senior Bowl in attendance, Georgia senior outside linebackers Lorenzo Carter and Davin Bellamy both turned in strong performances in the Bulldogs’ 20-19 victory over Notre Dame on Saturday. Carter and Bellamy returned for their senior seasons with the hopes of improving their NFL draft stock. Carter finished with seven tackles...
What the Bulldogs had to say after their win over Notre Dame 

What the Bulldogs had to say after their win over Notre Dame 

“Whether if I make a kick or miss a kick I have to treat it the exact same way and that’s how you get consistent with it. Whether if it’s a 52-yarder or an extra point kick. You have to treat them the exact same way and keep a level head through it all.” “I wasn’t concerned at all. We had a true freshman lead us down the field on game-winning drives last season...
What Kirby Smart said after UGA’s win over Notre Dame 

What Kirby Smart said after UGA’s win over Notre Dame 

Here’s what Georgia coach Kirby Smart had to say after the 20-19 win over Notre Dame on Saturday:  OPENING STATEMENT: Great atmosphere tonight. Shame either team had to lose that game, because it was really hard fought. Got a lot of respect for the program we just played and a lot of respect for the head coach. Got a lot of respect for the team. Also got to admit my respect for our team...
What Bears OLB Leonard Floyd had to say about the Falcons 

What Bears OLB Leonard Floyd had to say about the Falcons 

Former Georgia standout Leonard Floyd, who was selected ninth overall in the 2016 draft, is set to face the Falcons at 1 p.m. Sunday at Soldier Field. Floyd had seven sacks in 12 games last season. He had to work on his tackling to avoid concussions. The Eastman, Ga. native didn’t grow up as a fan of the Falcons. When the Chicago media asked him if he was a fan of the Falcons, he said, ...
The Atlanta Falcons will go 12-4. Here’s how it will happen

The Atlanta Falcons will go 12-4. Here’s how it will happen

The Falcons learn of MB’s forecast. Celebration ensues. (Curtis Compton/AJC) Nobody — well, nobody I know, this correspondent included — picked the Falcons to go 11-5 last season. They were coming off a bad 8-8, achieved as it was against the NFL’s second-weakest schedule. Last year, with one of the roughest-on-paper schedules, they won the NFC South...
More Atlanta Falcons Stories