ATLANTA - The Atlanta Falcons began a major overhaul Tuesday after a dismal season, signing three linemen at the start of free agency, re-signing defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux, and cutting former Pro Bowl safety Thomas DeCoud.
ATLANTA - The Atlanta Falcons hired Scott Pioli as assistant general manager on Wednesday, reuniting him with GM Thomas Dimitroff.
ATLANTA - Falcons owner Arthur Blank fully supports coach Mike Smith and general manager Thomas Dimitroff and believes they'll lead his team back to the playoffs in 2014.
FLOWERY BRANCH - Tony Gonzalez is having a harder time saying goodbye to the NFL than he imagined.
FLOWERY BRANCH - The Atlanta Falcons are finishing the season with 11 players on injured reserve, including two additions this week.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Two teams separated by just a few plays and all of four points for a berth to the Super Bowl last February now find themselves on opposite ends of the spectrum and standings.
ATLANTA - When he first looked at Atlanta's 2013 schedule, Tony Gonzalez was thrilled to see a late December rematch with the San Francisco 49ers.
FLOWERY BRANCH - The ugliest low points of a miserable season for Matt Ryan and the Falcons have come on the road.
FLOWERY BRANCH - Falcons coach Mike Smith hopes his defense is finally starting to understand how to create takeaways.
ATLANTA (AP) - The Redskins, awash in chaos and controversy, may find comfort in the reminder they're not alone in their first-to-worst misery.
FLOWERY BRANCH - Mike Nolan knows his second season as Falcons defensive coordinator has been a borderline disaster.
The Washington You-Know-Whos sure know how to diffuse the debate over their nickname as they head to Atlanta to face the Falcons.
ATLANTA - The Redskins, awash in chaos and controversy, may find comfort in the reminder they're not alone in their first-to-worst misery.
MINNEAPOLIS - Teddy Bridgewater playing with calm and poise beyond his years. Jerick McKinnon running hard between the tackles. Anthony Barr coming up with a big sack in the fourth quarter.
FLOWERY BRANCH - These days, the game looks so much slower to Julio Jones.
FLOWERY BRANCH - Matt Ryan has received plenty of accolades for his mammoth passing numbers in the opening month of the season. Another came Wednesday, when the Atlanta Falcons quarterback was named NFC offensive player of the week.
FLOWERY BRANCH - The Falcons' defense was handed a new challenge on Monday as players returned from their long weekend: How to contain Teddy Bridgewater.
ATLANTA - Devin Hester gets a text every morning from Deion Sanders, usually with some sort of inspirational message.
ATLANTA - Devin Hester high-stepped into the NFL record book. Matt Ryan had as many touchdown passes as incompletions. Julio Jones made a spectacular over-the-shoulder catch tumbling into the end zone.
ATLANTA - The short week came at a good time for the Atlanta Falcons.
FLOWERY BRANCH - Falcons rookie left tackle Jake Matthews has returned to practice after missing last week's loss at Cincinnati with a sprained left ankle.
FLOWERY BRANCH - One week ago, Gabe Carimi was being groomed to be the Falcons' version of John Havlicek who could play backup roles across the offensive line.
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. - Before the Atlanta Falcons decided to sign Devin Hester, they wanted to make sure he wasn't content just returning kickoffs and punts.
FLOWERY BRANCH - Falcons receiver Julio Jones has waited 11 months to return from a broken right foot and regain his Pro Bowl form.
FLOWERY BRANCH - For Matt Ryan, there are none of those annoying questions about his playoff record.
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