Atlanta Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons have been part of the National Football League since the 1966 season. The Falcons were part of the Eastern Conference in the first year, then spent three years in the Western Conference, in the Coastal Division. Of course, since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, the Falcons first played in the NFC, before moving to the NFC South in 2022. Atlanta has never won a Super Bowl title, but have plenty of history within the franchise. Let’s take a look at some of the important history within the franchise.

Mercedes-Benz Stadium is the Home of the Atlanta Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons, when they first started playing in the National Football League, were at the Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. If you are not familiar with this venue, it’s where the Atlanta Braves of Major League Baseball played their home games for many seasons. In 1992 – the Falcons moved over to the Georgia Dome. They spent 24 seasons there before moving to Mercedes-Benz Stadium in 2017.

Mercedes-Benz Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium that replaced the Georgia Dome. The location opened in August of 2017 with a preseason NFL game. Since then, a ton of sports have been played there. College Football Championship games, the Peach Bowl, MLS Cup, and Super Bowl LIII have all been played there. In 2026 – FIFA World Cup will head to Atlanta. The 2020 Men’s NCAA Basketball Final Four was supposed to be there but was canceled due to COVID-19.

The venue can seat up to 75,000 for a football game. Typically, they have it ready for around 71,000. The record attendance for a football game was just shy of 80,000 for the 2022 Peach Bowl.

The very first concert at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium was in October of 2017. Garth Brooks was the first to perform there.

Why the Falcons and Who Are They?

The Atlanta Falcons, like many teams in the National Football League, were named after a contest with fans. In 1965, the team had a contest, and the school teacher was the winner. She chose the “Falcons” due to the bird being a proud of dignified bird, with great courage and fight. It never drops its prey. It is deadly and has a great tradition of sport. The name Falcons, goes along well with the team name in the National Basketball Association in Atlanta named the Hawks.

Historical Records for the Atlanta Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons, coming into the 2023 season, have an overall record that is well below .500. Atlanta has just 383 wins, with 493 loses. The Falcons do have 10 postseason wins in franchise history.

Matt Ryan is the most successful quarterback in franchise history, with nearly 60,000 passing yards. Julio Jones will go down as one of the elite receivers of all time, with nearly 13,000 receiving yards and 60 touchdowns.

Atlanta’s biggest win of all time was in 1973 when they beat the Saints by 55 points.

The Falcons are on record for one of the shortest games of all time. The Falcons and Patriots in 1972 had a game go just 2 hours and 16 minutes.

When the Atlanta Falcons scored 442 points in the 1998 regular season, that was an NFL record. That was during the 16-game regular season era.

Finally, many of you may now know Norm Johnson, but he was a popular man for the Falcons in 1994. He kicked six field goals to set a record for most made in a Falcons game in franchise history.

Super Bowl Titles for the Falcons

As mentioned earlier, the Atlanta Falcons have never won a Super Bowl title. Atlanta has been to the Super Bowl twice in their franchise history. The first time was in 1998. Super Bowl XXXIII in Miami saw the Denver Broncos smack the Falcons around 34-19. Denver was the best team in the league all season, winning their first 13 games of the season. The Falcons had a great season, winning the NFC West with a 14-2 record, including winning their final 9 games of the season.

The most recent time the Atlanta Falcons were in the Super Bowl was one they would like to forget. The Atlanta Falcons were cruising along in Super Bowl LI. Atlanta led the game 28-3 and lost the game 34-28 to the New England Patriots. The Falcons were 11-5 in the regular season, and quarterback Matt Ryan was named the league MVP, but this game will haunt their franchise for many years. Super Bowl LI is known as “28-3”.

Atlanta has won six divisional titles. The Falcons won the NFC West twice, in 1980 and 1998, and have won the NFC South four times. The most recent was in 2016. Atlanta has been to the postseason 14 times. The first time was in 1978. Atlanta made the postseason in 2010, 2011, and 2012, which was the first and only team in franchise history the organization went in consecutive seasons.

Famous Quarterbacks for the Atlanta Falcons

Matt Ryan is the most popular Atlanta Falcons signal caller. Ryan is also the most successful, as far as keeping his job as the quarterback. There is only one guy with a better win percentage as the starting quarterback than Ryan. That’s Michael Vick. From 2001-2006, Vick went 38-28. Ryan finished his career at 102-102, making his the only quarterback in franchise history with 100+ wins, and also 100+ losses. In fact, Steve Bartkowski is the only other quarterback that has started more than 100 games for the Falcons.

Chris Chandler, Chris Miller, and Bob Berry are the next three on the list as far as games started. When talking skills on the field, Matt Ryan finished his Falcons career with 367 touchdown passes and 170 interceptions. Bartokwki is second with 154 touchdowns and 141 interceptions. No other Falcons quarterback threw 100 or more touchdowns.

Atlanta has seen just 6 quarterbacks start in the postseason for them. Steve Bartowski was the first, and he went 1-3. Chris Miller went once, and went 1-1. Jeff George lost his only start in 1995, while Chris Chandler went 2-1 in 1998. Michael Vick was next, and he went 2-2, while Matt Ryan lost his first three, but finished with a 4-6 record.

Atlanta Falcons Hall of Famers

Being one of the most recent franchises in the history of the league, the Falcons to not have the long list of guys in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, as other teams do. The Falcons have three guys that they consider their own, while 5 other guys were part of the organization at one point, and have made the Hall of Fame.

The guys in the Hall of Fame that only spent a portion of their career in Atlanta are Tommy McDonald, Eric Dickerson, Chris Doleman, Brett Favre, and Tony Gonzalez.

The first Falcon to ever make the Pro Football Hall of Fame was Deion Sanders. The cornerback for the team was inducted in 2011. Next, was Claude Humprey, a defensive end from 1968-1978. He was inducted in 2014. The most recent was kicked, Morten Anderson. Andersen was in the league 25 years, with 8 of them being with the Falcons. He was inducted in 2017.

Final Atlanta Falcons Tidbits

When the Atlanta Falcons were created in 1965, the league awarded to the franchise for $8.5M. The first draft pick ever by the Atlanta Falcons was linebacker Tommy Nobis. He was given the nickname as Mr Falcon. The Falcons were the team that drafted Brett Favre. They took him during the 1991 draft.

Frederick “Freddie” Falcon is the official mascot of the team. He has been part of the action at the games in Atlanta for nearly 35 years. Many confuse Freddie with the mascot of Bowling Green or Fresno State.