FLOWERY BRANCH - Osi Umenyiora still goes online to play video games against his buddy Victor Cruz.
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.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith is waiting to select a backup quarterback.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Jacksonville Jaguars had few, if any, concerns at center for a dozen years.
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. - Quarterback Matt Ryan says he and the Atlanta Falcons face no added pressure with everything on the line this week.
FLOWERY BRANCH - Another Falcons practice without Julio Jones was followed by another vote of confidence from coach Mike Smith that the star wide receiver will make it back from his hip injury this week.
FLOWERY BRANCH - It's possible 5-8 never looked so good.
FLOWERY BRANCH - Falcons coach Mike Smith said Tuesday the "intention" is for wide receiver Julio Jones to play this week against Pittsburgh after hurting his hip in Monday night's loss at Green Bay.
FLOWERY BRANCH - An impressive win over Arizona's strong defense was a confidence-booster for running back Steven Jackson and the Falcons' offense.
FLOWERY BRANCH - At 5-7 and sporting the NFL's most leaky defense, the Atlanta Falcons look like a mismatch against Green Bay star quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. - The Atlanta Falcons are two games below .500.
FLOWERY BRANCH - Cornerback Desmond Trufant knows the Atlanta Falcons' secondary faces a major challenge as Josh Gordon returns this week for Cleveland.
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