The Atlanta Falcons are a professional football team in the National Football League. They play in the National Football Conference. The franchise is based out of Atlanta, Georgia. The team has spent the majority of its history playing in the NFC West Division. Despite being on the Eastern side of the United States they played in that Division for more than 30 years.
The team has played in the NFC South Division since the divisions were split in 2002.
The team began in the National Football League playing in the Eastern Conference. The franchise was established in 1966. They only played in the Eastern Conference of the National Football League for one year before they were moved to the Western Conference. They played in the Western Conference in the Coastal Division for 3 years before the NFC and AFC were established.
The team has frankly not been a very successful one. They have been in existence for 43 years and have compiled a poor record over those 40 plus seasons. In their existence they have only managed to win 275 games while losing 400. There are also 6 ties to go along with those wins and losses.
The Falcons were around for about 5 years before they managed to compile a winning record. Their first winning record came in 1971. They weren’t able to take their success to the next step for a few years, but eventually they were able to make the playoffs.
The first playoff appearance in franchise history came in 1978. The team made the playoffs and was scheduled to square off against the Eagles. The Eagles played very tough in this one and it went down to the wire. In the end the Falcons were able to prevail and won the game 14-13. They were stopped the next week against the Dallas Cowboys in a 27-20 defeat.
Success did continue to build a bit after 1978. The team went on to win their first division title with a 12-4 record in 1980. That division title is one of just three titles in the history of the franchise. The next division title did not come for a long time.
The Falcons finally managed to turn it around in the late 1990’s. The team was led be a superstar running back that could really carry the load named Jamal Anderson. Anderson was a powerful back that brought some attitude to the Falcons. The Falcons were well known in these times as the “Dirty Bird” Falcons. They would celebrate in the end zone by doing a dance called the “Dirty Bird.” The team went on to a 14-2 record in 1998 and paved the way for success in 1999.
The Falcons made the playoffs again in 1999 and would eventually square off against the 15-1 Vikings. The Vikings were ousted by the Falcons and they Falcons would make their way to their only Super Bowl in Franchise history. They would lose the game, but it was still a historical landmark.
The team has since been up and down with the troubles and potential of Michael Vick. They now appear to be on the upswing with a young, talented quarterback that could lead them back to the big game.