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Competing in the NFC South, the Atlanta Falcons are always in for a tough fight to win the division and punch their ticket to the playoffs. Between Drew Brees in New Orleans, Cam Newton in Carolina, and now Jameis Winston in Tampa Bay, there is no shortage of all-star quarterbacks in this division. Add to that the list the perennial Pro Bowler out of Boston College, Matt Ryan.
Head Coach Dan Quinn knows that Ryan brings a skillset to the field that is sure to keep his offense in contention for a win every week. Matt Ryan can breathe a sigh of relief under center, confident in the knowledge that he has some major weapons lining up on the line of scrimmage with him. Julio Jones, his top target wide receiver out of Alabama, is working on rewriting the record books with absolutely stunning statistics he piles up each game. Split out on the other side is veteran Mohamed Sanu, a gritty player focused on helping this team reach the next level.
Expectations in Atlanta vary as fans and media members alike never seem to know what to expect out of this team. 2015 ushered in a new era in Atlanta, with team owner Arthur Blank tapping Dan Quinn to become the next head coach. His first stint in the league as a head coach, Quinn ‘s dirty birds were riding high early on, jumping out to a 6-1 record, before plummeting back down to earth to finish the year at 8-8, missing the playoffs. The 2016 campaign marked a huge improvement as the Falcons went 11-5, winning the NFC South and reaching their 2nd Super Bowl in franchise history. The game was one for the books, but ended with the Patriots taking home the Lombardi Trophy in in 34-28 finish in the first Super Bowl overtime. Giving up a 25 point lead, it was a long off-season for the Falcons franchise.
Last season brought a 10-6 record, good enough for third in the division and a wild card berth. After taking care of the high powered St. Louis Rams, the Falcons had their season come to an end at the hands of the eventual Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles in the divisional round in a hard fought 15-10 game.
The Falcons defense is comprised of players that put forth a great effort each game. 2015 first round draft pick Keanu Neal, a safety from Florida, has quickly become a starter for them in the backfield. Additionally, cornerbacks Robert Alford and Desmond Trufant are a strong tandem deep down the field. Defensive ends Jack Crawford and Vic Beasley are a threat to rush the quarterback on every play. After a strong rookie season, 2017 first round pick Takkarist McKinley is aiming for his first Pro Bowl.
Desperate to get another chance at a title, Falcons fans flock to the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium each week to cheer on their hometown heroes. Some of the most beloved Falcons players of all-tie include Steve Bartkowski, Bob Whitfield, Jesse Tuggle, Tommy Nobis, Claude Humphrey, Jeff Van Note,Mike Kenn, Deion Sanders, and Roddy White. More information about the Atlanta Falcons organization and history can be found by clicking here.