Atlanta Falcon

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The falcon birds keep Atlanta flapping about the gridiron all year round. The Atlanta Falcons Football Club is a professional football franchise that joined the National Football League in 1966. First awarded to businessman Rankin Smith, the team won its first conference championship in 1998 and its second conference championship in 2016. In 2002 Home Depot co-founder Arthur Blank acquired the franchise from Smith’s family. The Falcons played home games at the Georgia Dome in downtown Atlanta from 1992 until 2016. The team will play in the newly-constructed Mercedes-Benz Stadium starting with the 2017 NFL season. The Falcons’ headquarters and practice facilities are located in Flowery Branch, Georgia.

Atlanta Falcons, is an American professional gridiron football team based in Atlanta that plays in the National Football Conference (NFC) of the National Football League (NFL). The Falcons have won two NFC championships (1999 and 2017).

The Falcons began play in 1966 as an expansion team, and they lost at least 11 of their 14 games in each of their first three seasons. The team slowly improved through the late 1960s and early ’70s to post a 9–5 record in 1973 behind a defense led by linebacker Tommy Nobis and defensive end Claude Humphrey, narrowly missing out on a playoff spot in the process.

Atlanta returned to the bottom of its division in 1974, and the team used the first pick of the 1975 NFL draft to select quarterback Steve Bartkowski, who would go on to set franchise records in virtually every major passing category. Bartkowski led the Falcons to their first postseason berth in 1978, and in 1980 he teamed with running back William Andrews to form a high-powered offense that propelled Atlanta to its first division title. However, the Falcons lost in the first round of each of these postseasons (as well as during a third play-off appearance in the strike-shortened 1982 season), and the franchise’s play soon fell off; the team finished with double-digit losses in six of the seven seasons between 1984 and 1990.

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