Atlanta Falcons Team FormationOn June 30, 1965, the Atlanta Falcons were born. The NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle granted ownership to Rankin M. Smith, Sr., the executive vice president of Life Insurance Company of Georgia. The name Falcons was suggested by Julia Elliott (1909–1990) a high school teacher from Griffin, Georgia who won a contest in 1965. Though 40 other contestants had also suggested ...
New Georgia Dome StadiumIn 1992, the Falcons would move from the Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium to the Georgia Dome and finish with a 6–10 record. In the off-season, the team traded Brett Favre to the Green Bay Packers in exchange for a first-round draft pick. Atlanta would regret this decision as Favre went on to fame and glory with his new team.
Dan Reeves eraIn 1998, under recently acquired head coach Dan Reeves, quarterback Chris Chandler and running back Jamal Anderson the “Dirty Bird” Falcons had their greatest season to date. On November 8, they beat the New England Patriots 41–10, ending a streak of 22 losses at cold-weather sites. The team finished with a franchise-best 14–2 regular-season record and the NFC West division ...
Arthur Blank New OwnerSmith continued to manage the day-to-day operations of the team until 1990 when he turned control of the team over to his son Taylor Smith. The team was sold to Arthur M. Blank in 2002 for $545 million. In February 2002, Blank purchased the Atlanta Falcons franchise in the National Football League from owner Taylor Smith, the son of team ...
Mercedes-Benz Stadium Opens in 2017Mercedes-Benz Stadium is an under-construction retractable-roof, multi-purpose stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, that will serve as the home of the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League (NFL) and Atlanta United FC of Major League Soccer (MLS). It is intended to replace the Georgia Dome, which has been the Falcons’ home stadium since 1992. The total cost is estimated at $1.5 ...
History of the Falcons
The Atlanta Falcons are an American professional football team based in Atlanta, Georgia. The Falcons compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league’s National Football Conference (NFC) South division. The franchise began to play in 1965 as an expansion team, and their first season was not successful—the team finished last with a record of 3–11. Since then, however, they have become one of the most successful teams in NFL history; since 1978 they have had only six losing seasons and made 16 playoff appearances over that span including two Super Bowl trips to Super Bowl XXXIII and Super Bowl LI.
The early years saw some success for the fledgling franchise under head coach Norb Hecker who led them to three winning seasons from 1966-1968 but it wasn't until General Manager Pat Peppler hired Norm Van Brocklin as head coach that things really started taking off for Atlanta's pro football squad. In 1971 he assembled what is widely considered one of greatest drafts ever by any NFL Team – selecting future Hall-of-Famers RB Gerald Riggs (#3 overall), G Bill Fralic (#8 overall), LB Al Richardson (#21 overall). This group would go on to form part of the "Gritz Blitz" defense which powered Atlanta's run from 1976-1978 where they won back-to-back NFC West titles culminating with their appearance at Superbowl XIII against Pittsburgh Steelers.
Fast forward several decades later - after numerous coaches & GMs came & went - current Head Coach Dan Quinn has been able to lead this proud organization into another era of greatness having reached playoffs each year since 2015 while also making the trip back to SB LI vs New England Patriots 2017 season. With the addition of young talent like QB Matt Ryan, WR Julio Jones, DE Vic Beasley Jr., CB Desmond Trufant, etc there is no doubt plenty of excitement ahead for both players and fans alike!
1966 – Present / National Football League
1966 - Present / Atlanta Falcons
Falcons - Like many teams, when the Falcons were founded in 1966 they held a naming contest. Thirteen hundred people combined to suggest more than 500 names, including Peaches, Vibrants, Lancers, Confederates, Firebirds, and Thrashers. The name Falcons was entered by several people, but the winning entry was awarded to Julia Elliot for describing the Falcon as “proud, dignified and it never drops its prey. It is deadly and has great sporting tradition.”
Super Bowl 0
2017 - Present / Mercedes-Benz Stadium
1992 - 2016 / Georgia Dome
1976 - 1991 / Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium
1966 - 1976 / Atlanta Stadium
2002 - Present / Arthur Blank
1997 - 2002 / Taylor Smith
1966 - 1997 / Rankin M. Smith, Sr.
To qualify as the greatest player for this team, the player must have played one season for this team. If not, we will remove the player.
* verifies that player has played for this team as an added player by a fan.
10 / Steve Bartkowski
31 / William Andrews
57 / Jeff Van Note
60 / Tommy Nobis
*Blue is this team’s history