Known as one of the best franchises in the National Football Conference (NFC) in its more recent years, the Atlanta Falcons are a professional football team from Atlanta, Georgia. They're members of the NFC South in the NFL and they play their home games at the Georgia Dome. In their red, black, white, and silver uniforms, the Falcons, in 1965, were awarded the 15th franchise to the NFL as an expansion team, finally obtaining a professional team for their home state. They got their name from a local contest where the winner was a school teacher who suggested "the Falcons" saying that the falcon is "proud and dignified, with courage and fight." In their beginning seasons, the Falcons were a disappointment to their teams as they would end their 1967 season with a 1-12-1 record. It wasn't until 1971 that the team was finally able to get their first winning season of 7-6-1. Continuing with their success, the Falcons qualified for the playoffs in 1978 and were able to beat the Philadelphia Eagles in the Wild Card but lost to the Dallas Cowboys in the Division Playoffs. About a decade later, the Falcons drafted Deion Sanders, more commonly known as "Neon Deion" for his flashy appeal and because of this, was able to drag in the media to gain more attention and popularity for the team.
The team made their big break at the beginning of 2008 when they had five consecutive winning seasons for the first time in their team history. In the beginning of their 2008 season, Ryan was officially named the starting quarterback and was named NFC Rookie of the Month, becoming the first player on the team to be awarded this title. The Falcons have qualified for the playoffs a total of four times during their "winning season" with their most recent division championship in 2012. Being one of the oldest and most established team in the NFL, the New Orleans Saints and the Atlanta Falcons have a divisional rivalry in the NFC South. Aside from being in the same division, they have shared some of the same players as well as coached from the same families. With competition heating, the Atlanta Falcons hope to start the season strong and make it to the playoffs.
With a primary focus on their defense, the Falcons acquired 9 new players from the 2014 draft. In the first round, they chose offensive tackle Jake Matthews from Texas A&M. Matthew's father, Bruce, played for the Titans until 2001 and was an Inductee of the Hall of Fame. This makes Jake the sixth of his family to be drafted into the NFL. Second and third round picks were Ra'Shede Hageman from Minnesota and Dez Southward from Wisconsin. These two add to the defensive line as defensive tackle and safety. In the fourth round, they also had two picks and chose Devonta Freeman from Florida State and Prince SHembo from Notre Dame. The other five players added are Ricardo Allen from Purdue, Marquis Spruill from Syracuse, Yawin Smallwood from Connecticut, and Tyler Starr from South Dakota. With all the new additions to the team and a strong defense set up, the Falcons are eager to start the season with their preseason game against the Miami Dolphins.
Looking for additional Atlanta Falcons information? Head over to the Atlanta Falcons Wikipedia Page.
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