Atlanta Falcons is an American football team which is part of the Southern Division of the NFC. They debuted in the NFL in 1966 and have made it to one Super Bowl appearance in which they were defeated by the Denver Broncos. The Falcons have won the National Conference twice and the Southern Division three times.
The home ground is the Georgia Dome which opened in 1992 with a capacity of 71,228.The Atlanta Falcons play in the NFL’s South Division of the National Football Conference (NFC). The Falcons, who play in Atlanta, Georgia, are an expansion team founded in 1966. The franchise was granted by then NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle to Rankin Smith, Jr.
The Falcons played in two NFL conferences—Eastern Conference (1966) and Western Conference, Coastal Division (1967- 1969). In 1970, they became part of the NFC when the AFL and NFL merged. From 1970 to 2001, they participated in the NFC West. From 2002 to the present, they have been in the NFC South.
The Falcons won their only conference championship in 1998, defeating the favored Minnesota Vikings 30- 27 in overtime. Then in Super Bowl XXXIII, the club lost to the Denver Broncos 34- 19. They won their first division crown in 1980 when they were part of the NFC West. Other division championships came in 1998 (NFC West) and 2004 (NFC South).
The Falcons have called two stadiums home. Their first venue was the Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium (1966- 1991). In 1992, they moved into their present home—the Georgia Dome. The dome, which is owned by the State of Georgia and cost $214 million, holds 71,228 fans.
Two Falcon players have been inducted into the professional football Hall of Fame. However, neither player served more than one year as a player with the club and both played for the team when their careers were in decline. Running back Eric Dickerson (1983- 1993) played his final season with Atlanta. Wide receiver Tommy MacDonald (1957-1968) was with the club in 1967.
The player that most people associate with the Atlanta Falcons is quarterback Michael Vick. On the field, Vick was known as a tough competitor who often improvised on broken plays by running with the ball rather than throwing it away or running out of bounds.
In six seasons with Atlanta, Vick passed for 11,505 yards, completing 53.8-percent of his throws. He threw 71 touchdowns and 52 interceptions. During that same period, the quarterback rushed for 3,859 yards, averaging 7.3 yards per carry and scoring 21 touchdowns. He also fumbled 19 times. Overall, Vick was a brilliant and often inconsistent performer, capable of making either the big play or the big mistake.
Perhaps his biggest mistake occurred off the field when in 2006 Vick ran into trouble with the law for running a dogfighting enterprise on his premises. He pled guilty in 2007 and is presently serving 23 months in prison.
Arthur Blank currently owns the team. Thomas Dimitroff is the team’s general manager and Mike Smith the head coach. Freddie Falcon is the team mascot.