atlanta falcons history

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atlanta falcons history

The Georgia Dome is home of the most exciting players in football. Fans jump at the chance to buy tickets to see him dodge tacklers, miraculously avoid sacks, and acrobatically leap over defenders. There can be no doubt in your mind that the Atlanta Falcons are quickly becoming one of the hottest teams in the NFC, and the reason is one man: quarterback extraordinaire Michael Vick. When he drops back after the snap, opposing defenses can only hope to contain him in the pocket, because if he escapes, he is truly a dangerous runner in the open field.

The Atlanta Falcons joined the NFL for the 1966, and quickly made their mark when the very first Falcon, linebacker Tommy Nobis, was named NFL Rookie of the Year, amassing 294 tackles, a franchise record. The early years were a struggle, and the team first finished with a winning record in 1971 at 7-6-1. Things started to improve for the Birds in 1977, when they set an NFL record for the fewest points allowed in a 14-game season at 129, less than 10 per game. The next year would see the Falcons make it to the playoffs for the first time, and in 1980, they would win the NFC West for the first time.

In 1998, led by quarterback Chris Chandler and tailback Jamal Anderson, the Falcons provide their season ticket holders with the big prize, a Super Bowl appearance in Super Bowl XXXVIII against the Denver Broncos. Facing John Elway in his last game, the Falcons drove inside the Broncos’ 30-yard line seven times, but could not hold on against arguably one of the best quarterbacks to play the game and lost 34-19.

2001 marked the beginning of a new era at the Georgia Dome. With the #1 pick in the draft, the Falcons selected Michael Vick, who would become the centerpiece of the new Atlanta offense. Shortly after, in 2002, Arthur M. Blank purchased the team and promised ticket holders “I personally will not rest until I have a chance to wear a Super Bowl ring on behalf of everybody in Atlanta and in the state of Georgia.” 2003 saw a great accomplishment for the upstart Falcons: Atlanta became the first team ever to beat the Green Bay Packers in a playoff game at hallowed Lambeau field. Packers’ ticket holders watched in horror as Vick and the Birds dismantled the Packers at home, 27-7. In 2004, Blank hired Jim Mora, Jr. as head coach and the Falcons easily dominated the NFC South, making it all the way to the NFC Championship game against Philadelphia, but were defeated 27-10.

The Falcons are set to return with a vengeance in 2005. Most forget about the rest of the team, but the Falcons are more than Michael Vick. Running back Warrick Dunn quietly amassed 1,106 rushing yards and scored nine touchdowns. With their first round draft pick, the receiving corps was improved with the addition of Roddy White. In addition, Michael Vick has vowed to improve his passing game. No one denies that he is the best running quarterback in the league, and if he can add an accurate passing attack to his repertoire, the Falcons will have their ticket to Super Bowl. Fans expect nothing less from the most exciting man in football, Michael Vick.


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