The Atlanta Falcons is a professional American Football team (gridiron). The Falcons play in the NFC South Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The team, based in Atlanta, Georgia, originally signed up for the NFL back in 1965 as an expansion team, after Rankin Smith, the Falcon’s then-owner, was offered a franchise by the NFL in order to prevent him from joining the league’s rival, the AFL.
Having been in the NFL for over 55 years, the Falcons have, thus far, achieved a record of 383 wins, 493 losses and 6 draws. They have managed to win their division 6 times – as part of either the NFC West or the NFC South divisions. The Falcons have also appeared in two Super Bowls, the first in 1998, which saw them losing out to the Denver Broncos, and the second time eighteen years later in Super Bowl LI, where they lost out to the New England Patriots, 34-28 in overtime.
The Falcon’s currently play their home games at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which opened in time for the start of the 2017 NFL season. However, their headquarters and practice facilities are based in Hall County, northeast of Atlanta at the 50-acre site in Flowery Branch.
All About The Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons’ first season was in 1966 – and, unsurprisingly, they started out with a losing record. In each of their first three seasons, they lost no fewer than 11 of their 14 games. However, the team started to show some slow improvements in the latter part of the sixties and the early 1970s. In 1973, they even posted a 9-5 record with the help of a strong defence, led by their linebacker Tommy Nobis and Claude Humphrey, their defensive end. Unfortunately, they narrowly missed out on a playoff spot that year.
The Atlanta Falcons Player Personnel
- Owner: Arthur Blank
- CEO: Rich McKay
- President: Rich McKay
- Head coach: Arthur Smith
- General manager: Terry Fontenot
- Offensive Line Coordinator: Dave Ragone
- Defensive Line Coordinator: Dean Pees
After a few decent seasons, the Falcons dropped back down to the bottom of its division again in 1974. However, they got the first pick in the 1975 NFL Draft and used this to select quarterback Steve Bartkowski. He went on to set team records in practically all major passing categories. Moreover, in 1978 he led the Falcons to their very first postseason berth. Just 2 years later, in 1980, he worked alongside running back William Andrews to create a powerful offense that saw Atlanta win its first-ever division title. Unfortunately, they lost in the first round of both postseasons – and then their play dropped back down to its previous form. In six out of seven seasons from 1984 until 1990, they ended up with double-digit losses on record.
Playoffs have been a constant source of disappointment for the Falcons. Even strong personalities such as Andre Tison and Deion Sanders and a flashy head coach in Jerry Glanville in 1991 couldn’t succeed in the postseason, despite winning 10 regular-season games. They enjoyed some strong seasons in the second decade of the 21st century, partly due to a strong quarterback in Matt Ryan. The biggest disappointment with the franchise was failing to win the 2017 Super Bowl despite a 28-9 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
In 2021, the Falcons came third in their division, having a tough time against division rivals. In 2022, Atlanta played its first season in years without Matt Ryan. They went 7-10 in a weak division and missed the playoffs for the 5th straight season.
The Atlanta Falcons Main Rivalries
The Atlanta Falcons main rivals in the NFL are:
The New Orleans Saints
The start of this rivalry was when the Saints joined the NFL as an expansion team in 1967 – one year after the Falcons. Both of these teams were the first NFL teams based in the traditional deep south. This, alongside the creation of the Dallas Cowboys, meant that Washington would no longer be the only NFL team located in the south of the United States.
Both of the teams were placed into the NFC West division in 1970 – and thus played each other twice every season. Together, they were later placed in the NFC South division after the 2002 realignment.
Their very first meeting was in November 1967, a game that was close between the two teams. The most recent meeting saw the Saints defeat the Falcons 21-18 in a game from the 2022/23 season. To date, the two teams have met 108 times, with the Falcons winning 54 times and the Saints winning 54 times: it’s fair to say that the rivalry is evenly matched. The two teams have yet to play to a draw.
In the postseason, the franchises have met just once, which was a victory for the Falcons. Atlanta had the biggest defeat over the Saints back in 1973, beating them 62-7. The record for the longest win streak also belongs to the Falcons – 10 consecutive games between 1995 and 1999.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This inter-divisional rivalry is one that is wrought with aggression. The teams have been in the NFC South division since 2002 and have so far faced each other 59 times, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers leading the series slightly – 30 wins to the Falcons 29 wins. Although many consider the New Orleans Saints to be the team’s most bitter rivals, the Buccaneers may certainly be considered their most brutal rivals.
Aggressive play has tainted their rivalry – play that tends to go on long after the final whistle has blown. The games between the two teams are often wrought with penalties. Despite this, most of the punches, shoves and pushes still go unpunished. These games are usually exciting for the fans but difficult for players looking to avoid injuries in an already aggressive sport.
The Carolina Panthers
The rivalry between these two teams originated in 1995 after the Panthers joined the NFL as an expansion team. Both of these teams played in the NFC West up until 2001 until being moved over to the newly created NFC South division in 2002. To date, the teams met twice a year in the regular-season but have never met in the playoffs as of yet.
Between them, they have won 11 division titles since 1995 and have both reached the Super Bowl twice. The Falcons appeared in Super Bowls XXXIII and LI while the Panthers have appeared in Super Bowls XXXVIII and 50. However, to date, both teams have failed to record a win in the NFL’s championship game. Both teams are the only ones in the NFC to have never won a league championship – pre or post-merger – and both teams have lost out in that final game to the same two AFC teams, the Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots.
Their first head-to-head game was in 1995 – and the Falcons beat the Panthers 23-20 in overtime. The latest meeting was a win for the Carolina Panthers, who beat Atlanta 25-15 in November of 2022. They have played each other 56 times to date with the Falcons leading 35-21. The Falcons also achieved the largest victory, beating the Panthers 41-0 in 2002 as part of their longest winning streak between 2000 and 2002 (six games).
Atlanta Falcons Facts
Everything you need to know about the Atlanta Falcons…
Atlanta Falcons Nicknames
- The Dirty Birds
- Grits Blitz (the team’s defense nickname in 1977)
To date, the Atlanta Falcons have never won any Super Bowls or league championships.
NFL/NFC Conference Championships
In the Atlanta Falcons franchise history, they have won the Conference Championships twice:
The Atlanta Falcons have won 6 division championships – 2 NFC West Division titles:
Plus the NFL team has won 4 NFC South Division titles:
Playoff Berth Appearances
The Atlanta Falcons clinched NFC playoff spots 14 times since they were first established:
- 1978, 1980, 1982, 1991, 1995, 1998, 2002, 2004, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2016 and 2017.
Atlanta Falcons Home Fields
Since they were first created, the Atlanta Falcons have had three home fields:
- The Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium between 1966 and 1991
- Georgia Dome between 1992and 2016
- The Mercedes-Benz Stadium from 2017 until present
Atlanta Falcons Pro Football Hall of Famers
Any player that has been nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame is considered to have made an outstanding contribution to professional football.
- No. Player Position Dates Induction
- 8 Tommy McDonald WR 1967 1998
- 29 Eric Dickerson RB 1993 1999
- 21 Deion Sanders CB 1989–1993 2011
- 56 Chris Doleman DE 1994–1995 2012
- 87 Claude Humphrey DE 1968–1978 2014
- 4 Brett Favre QB 1991 2016
- 5 Morten Andersen K 1995–2000
- . 2006–2007 2017
- 88 Tony Gonzalez TE 2009–2013 2019
Coaches and Contributors
- Name Position Seasons Inducted
- Bill Polian GM 1995–1997 2015
Atlanta Falcons Most Valuable Player Awards
Here are all the Most Valuable Player Awards (MVP) received by Carolina Panthers players:
- Season Player Position
- 2015 Cam Newton QB
Atlanta Falcons FAQs
Can I Bet on NFL Draft Fantasy Menu Games?
If you live in a state where fantasy betting is legal then yes – and there are now more NFL sites for fantasy football bets than ever before. Find a chosen site, download draft fantasy filter and look through Falcons players such as Matt Ryan or Kyle Pitts to put on your team.
How Can I Bet on the Falcons Winning the Super Bowl?
If you want to bet on the grand season finale and you live in a state where betting is legal, it’s simple. Choose a bookmaker with lots of features like live streaming, audio gallery, promo offers and value odds. Click on Super Bowl, menu, teams and look for the Falcons. You can opt for different types of bets such as Moneyline, Totals, Against the Spread and also props bets such as single-player playlist playoffs performances etc.
Research how the Falcons are playing, look at their Instagram, Twitter, Facebook pages, gamepass games insights, Pro football focus news etc – and see how the team is performing right now. Check the location network news, pause – and make your decision as to whether you think the Falcons can win – choose your stake and place your bet.