breaking news

Amid frigid temps, Gov. Deal issues emergency declaration

With return to playoffs, Falcons are defying the odds


The 2017 Atlanta Falcons are bucking the odds.

Before 1988, every Super Bowl runner-up posted a winning record the following season, with most winning their division. Since then, more than 43 percent of the teams to lose in the previous season’s championship game have missed the playoffs in the year that followed.

The Falcons suffered a major collapse, losing to New England Feb. 5 in the Super Bowl in Houston.

The Falcons enter the 2017 playoffs as the sixth seed and will travel to Los Angeles to face the Rams (8:15 p.m., Saturday, NBC). Opening odds have the Falcons as the underdogs, with the Rams as 4.5-point favorites.

(It should be noted that none of NFC playoff teams from last season -- Cowboys, Giants, Lions, Packers, Seahawks -- made this year’s post season.)

This year’s Falcons -- who overcame a mediocre 4-4 start -- still face a mountain to reach the Super Bowl in Minnesota.

Only seven teams have returned to the Super Bowl the year after losing it. Of the seven teams, only two -- the Dallas Cowboys (1971) and Miami Dolphins (1972) -- won in their return to the title game.

In 1999, the Falcons lost Super Bowl XXXIII to the Broncos, 34-19, and went 5-11, missing the playoffs, the following season.

The last NFC team to come close to a Super Bowl return a year after losing it were the 2013 San Francisco 49ers, who lost, 23-17, at Seattle in conference title game.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Atlanta Falcons

Report: Falcons to interview Greg Knapp for open QB coach spot 
Report: Falcons to interview Greg Knapp for open QB coach spot 

Former Falcons offensive coordinator Greg Knapp, who was on Jim Mora’s staff, is set to interview for the team’s vacant quarterback coaching position, according to Alex Marvez of The Sporting News. Knapp, 54, a longtime NFL assistant, was the Falcons offensive coordinator from 2004-2006. He helped the Falcons get to the NFC title game with...
Watch for players from Georgia colleges in NFL playoffs
Watch for players from Georgia colleges in NFL playoffs

Georgia's season is over but some former Bulldogs are still playing football. Three have key roles in the NFL playoffs and another might be activated this weekend. There's also an ex-Georgia Tech player and a former Georgia Southern standout on rosters for the league championship games Sunday. Watch the video above to find out who the players are so...
Falcons sign nine players to reserve/future contracts 
Falcons sign nine players to reserve/future contracts 

The Falcons signed signed nine players to reserve/future contracts on Monday.  Quarterback Garrett Grayson, safety Marcelis Branch, cornerback Deante Burton (a former wide receiver), offensive lineman Daniel Brunskill, defensive lineman Taniela Tupou, defensive lineman Joey Ivie, defensive end J’Terious (JT) Jones, wide receiver Reggie...
Falcons slated to pick  26th overall in NFL draft
Falcons slated to pick 26th overall in NFL draft

After the divisional round of the playoffs, the order for the 2018 NFL draft is mostly set through the first 28 positions. The Falcons are slotted at the 26th position, the same place they traded up to last season to select defensive end Takkarist McKinley. The 2018 NFL Draft will be held April 26-28 in Dallas.  Last season, the Falcons were slated...
Report: Freeman may need knee surgery 
Report: Freeman may need knee surgery 

Falcons running back Devonta Freeman, who rushed for seven yards on 10 carries and missed a blitz pick up in the playoff loss to the Eagles, believes that he might need knee surgery, according to an ESPN.com report. Freeman was listed on the team’s injury report with a knee injury. He said, in the report, that he suffered sprained posterior...
More Stories