The Atlanta Falcons are a professional American football team based in Atlanta, Georgia. They are a member of the South Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The Falcons play their home games at the Georgia Dome in downtown Atlanta, but construction is likely to begin in 2014 on a new stadium with play beginning in the 2017 season. Their headquarters and practice facilities are located at a 50-acre site in Flowery Branch, Georgia. The Falcons joined the NFL in 1965 as an expansion team, after the NFL offered then-owner Rankin Smith a franchise to keep him from joining the rival American Football League (AFL). The AFL instead granted a franchise to Miami, Florida (the Miami Dolphins). In their 45 years of existence, the Falcons have compiled a record of 298–402–6 with division championships in 1980, 1998, 2004, and 2010. Their only Super Bowl appearance was Super Bowl XXXIII.
Over the last four years the Falcons, under General Manager Thomas Dimitroff, Head Coach Mike Smith, and Quarterback Matt Ryan, have been one of the best franchises in the NFC. Since the start of the 2008 season, the Falcons have recorded four consecutive winning seasons for the first time in franchise history. They led the NFC in number of wins during that period with 43. Mike Smith’s 43–21 regular-season record in that span is the fifth-best in the league. The Falcons had the NFL's second best winning percentage at home during the period of 2008 to 2010 with a .833 percentage. The Falcons have qualified for the playoffs three times (2008, 2010 and 2011) during this period, but lost all three in the first round
Famous quotes containing the word falcons:
“Thus piteously Love closed what he begat:
The union of this ever-diverse pair!
These two were rapid falcons in a snare,
Condemned to do the flitting of the bat.”
—George Meredith (18281909)