FLOWERY BRANCH - Finishing strong is the ultimate goal for any football player.
FLOWERY BRANCH - The Atlanta Falcons have put themselves in quite a bind. Now, even though coach Mike Smith says nothing is off the table, don't look for a bunch of major changes.
FLOWERY BRANCH - The Atlanta Falcons are back in familiar surroundings for Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears.
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. - Quarterback Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons have improved their red zone efficiency, statistically speaking, from last year.
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. - Coach Mike Smith says the Atlanta Falcons aren't concerned about the injuries that have reshuffled their offensive line.
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.
ATLANTA - In the midst of two losing seasons, the Atlanta Falcons tried to pump up the noise.
The Falcons' financially conservative approach to this year's free-agent signings may have been influenced by hopes of keeping star wide receiver Julio Jones from leaving next year.
Jacob Tamme found the bigger offensive role he was looking for in Atlanta, where the Falcons were seeking a veteran tight end a year after the retirement of Tony Gonzalez.
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