The Atlanta Falcons are a professional football team that belongs to the National Football League’s (NFL) National Football Conference (NFC) South division.
The Atlanta Falcons joined the NFL in 1965 after owner Rankin Smith was offered a franchise in a different city to keep him from moving the team he owned in Buffalo, New York. Smith’s first order of business was to introduce a contest to provide a nickname for the new group.
Many people suggested “Falcons” for the new football team’s name, but a teacher from Griffin, Georgia, won the contest with his description.
Atlanta Falcons Stadium
The Mercedes-Benz Stadium is a domed stadium located in Atlanta, Georgia. It is the home of the Atlanta Falcons. The Atlanta-Fulton County Recreation Authority owns the stadium and is operated by AMB Group, the organization responsible for managing Mercedes-Benz Stadium and the adjacent Centennial Olympic Park. The stadium opened on August 26, 2017, with a Falcons preseason game against Arizona Cardinals, with a seating capacity of 71,000.
Atlanta Falcons Logo
The Atlanta Falcons logo is among the most recognizable in the NFL. It’s a simple design, but it has been very effective in helping the Falcons build a strong brand and make a name for themselves in Atlanta.
The team’s logo has changed several times, but its current incarnation dates back to 2003, unveiling it as part of an overall rebranding effort. The new logo replaced a more complex design that the team had used since 1991.
The current logo features an iconic falcon head against a black background with white stripes running across it. The bird’s eyes are white, with two red stripes on either side of its head. There is also some red trim around the outside edge of the logo.
Falcons vs Saints Rivalry
The Falcons-Saints rivalry is a National Football League (NFL) rivalry between the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints. The two teams have been division rivals since the Saints’ inception in 1967, with the Falcons in the NFC West and the Saints in the NFC South.
The rivalry has been described as one of the most intense in all sports by NFL analysts. It is also referred to as “the Dirty South’s Oldest Rivalry” due to both cities’ history with slavery.
Falcons vs Panthers Rivalry
The Falcons and Panthers have been rivals since their first game in 1995. The Carolina Panthers won the first two games between the two teams with a combined score of 74-10. In 1996, the rivalry took on a new level when the Falcons hired Dan Reeves as head coach, who had previously been a Panther’s front office member.
Here is a list of all Falcons franchise owners, including current and previous ones.
Ring of Honor Players
Claude Humphrey, Defensive End (DE), No. 87
Former Falcons defensive end Claude Humphrey was a first-round pick in the 1968 NFL Draft. He ranks first in Atlanta annals for career sacks (94.5), third for single-season sacks (15.6), and first in Pro Bowl selections with six.
Deion Sanders, Cornerback (CB), No.21
Considered one of the best pure cornerbacks to play in the NFL, Sanders was a three-time Pro Bowler as a Falcon after being selected as the fifth overall player in the 1989 draft.
A dangerous return man, Sanders also doubled as an All-Pro selection during his NFL tenure and was recently tabbed the 34th-best player in League history by a new NFL Films-produced series.
Gerald Riggs, Running Back (RB), No. 42
The Falcons selected Riggs with the ninth overall pick out of Arizona State University in the 1982 NFL Draft. He was a three-time Pro Bowler in his seven seasons with Atlanta and finished his Falcons career as the franchise’s all-time leader in rushing yards (6,631), rushing touchdowns (48), and total touchdowns (51).
Other Ring of Honor players include:
|No.||Player||Position||Years played||Year Inducted|
|31||William Andrews||Running Back (RB)||1979-1983,1986||2004|
|10||Steve Bartkowski||Quarterback (QB)||1975-1985||2004|
|60||Tommy Nobis||Linebacker (LB)||1966-1976||2004|
|58||Jessie Tuggle||Linebacker (LB)||1987-2000||2004|
|57||Jeff Van Note||Center (C)||1969-1986||2006|
|78||Mike Kenn||Tackle (T)||1978-1994||2008|
|28||Warrick Dunn||Running Back (RB)||2002-2007||2017|
|84||Roddy White||Wide Receiver (WR)||2005-2015||2019|
Hall of Fame Inductees
Throughout their history, a number of players have played for the Atlanta Falcons at some point and ended up in the NFL Hall of Fame. Some played for them longer than others. Here is the full list:
|No.||Player||Position||Years at Falcons||Year Inducted|
|8||Tommy McDonald||Wide Receiver (WR)||1967||1998|
|21||Deion Sanders||Cornerback (CB)||1989-1993||1999|
|29||Eric Dickerson||Running Back (RB)||1993||2011|
|56||Chris Doleman||Defensive End (DE)||1994-1995||2012|
|87||Claude Humphrey||Defensive End (DE)||1968-1978||2014|
|4||Brett Favre||Quarterback (QB)||1991||2016|
|5||Morten Andersen||Kicker (K)||1995-2000,2006-2007||2017|
|88||Tony Gonzalez||Tight End (TE)||2009-2013||2019|
All-time Best Coaches
Dan Reeves led the Atlanta Falcons to their first-ever NFC Championship Game and a trip to the Super Bowl. He served as head coach for seven seasons, from 1997-2003.
In his first season with the Falcons, Quinn managed to finish with a mediocre 8-8 record. However, he turned things around in his second season, taking the Falcons to their second Superbowl in 2016. Although they lost against the dominant New England Patriots, he had achieved levels not seen since 1998. He served as head coach from 2015-2020.
Best All-Time Season Record
The Atlanta Falcons had their best record in a season in 1998, with a record of 14-2.
The Atlanta Falcons have managed to reach two Super Bowls, in 1998 and 2016. They lost to the Denver Broncos 34–19 in Super Bowl XXXIII and the New England Patriots 28–34 overtime loss during Super Bowl LI.
Pre-Merger Championship Wins
The Atlanta Falcons haven’t won a pre-merger championship.
Atlanta Falcons have managed to bag two Conference Championships in their history. The first time was in 1998, beating the Minnesota Vikings to the NFC Championship in an overtime win. The second NFC triumph was in 2016, brushing aside the Green Bay Packers 44-21.
Atlanta Falcons have won six division titles in their history, three in the NFC West and four in the NFC South.
The team has won the NFC West twice, in 1980 and 1998, and the NFC South four times, in 2004, 2010, 2012, and 2016.
Here is a quick look at the years they won the division crown, in which division, and what their record was:
1978-1983: The First Major Change
The Falcons made a significant image overhaul in 1978. Silver facemasks, jersey stripes and numbers, and pants became part of the new look. More detailed collar stripes were emphasized, and road jerseys had red numbers instead of black. The team crest also returned to the sleeves in 1981.
1984-1989: Black Facemasks
In 1984, the Falcons changed their facemasks from white to black. Although this may sound like a minor change, it was pretty noticeable in the pictures. By the late 1980s, the Falcons’ uniforms displayed sleeves, numbers, and logos that were moved around. However, the overall uniform was almost identical to those created in 1978.
1990-1996: Back In Black
In 1990, the Falcons changed their uniforms to black jerseys and helmets. The uniform featured a white outline and no red. Only thin stripes of red could be seen on the pants, numbers, and 25th-anniversary logo patch.