ATLANTA - The Atlanta Falcons are tied for the best record in the NFL. They have a comfortable lead in their division. They've already clinched another winning season.
FLOWERY BRANCH - They sound like idle words, even for a team with the NFL's best record.
FLOWERY BRANCH - The Falcons' short-yardage woes in their first loss of the season stirred memories of similar struggles the last time they lost - in the playoffs.
FLOWERY BRANCH - Todd McClure can tell this is becoming a special season for the Atlanta Falcons, just from all the extra time he's spending on the phone.
FLOWERY BRANCH - The Atlanta Falcons could be closer to full strength on defense the next time they take the field.
FLOWERY BRANCH - Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson never questioned Atlanta's offseason trade for Asante Samuel.
FLOWERY BRANCH - Outside linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, one of the leaders of the Atlanta Falcons' defense, will miss Sunday night's game against the Dallas Cowboys with a right ankle injury.
FLOWERY BRANCH - Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan doesn't like to discuss his accomplishments for more than a couple of minutes.
FLOWERY BRANCH - The more Atlanta keeps winning, the more coach Mike Smith keeps tinkering with ways to help the Falcons improve.
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. - The Atlanta Falcons, the NFL's last unbeaten team, were rested and closer to full strength on Monday in their return from their bye week.
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. - Then there was one.
FLOWERY BRANCH - When the Atlanta Falcons gather in the meeting room at the beginning of each week, they can always count on coach Mike Smith jotting one thing on the board.
ATLANTA - Atlanta Falcons players used their off day Tuesday to go back to school.
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. - The Atlanta Falcons are in uncharted territory.
FLOWERY BRANCH - Standing in front of his locker, wearing an Atlanta Braves cap, Matt Ryan was back in full ice mode.
FLOWERY BRANCH - Cornerback Desmond Trufant knows the Atlanta Falcons' secondary faces a major challenge as Josh Gordon returns this week for Cleveland.
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. - The Atlanta Falcons reported to work Monday in a strange place.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Atlanta Falcons are 4-6 - and tied for first place in the lowly NFC South.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Cam Newton is eager to break out of a four-game slump and the Atlanta Falcons could be exactly the opponent the fourth-year quarterback needs.
FLOWERY BRANCH - With the losses piling up for the Atlanta Falcons, Matt Ryan felt the need to speak up.
The Atlanta Falcons ended their five-game losing streak by coming off their bye week with a tough approach up front.
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. - Falcons receiver Roddy White can't find much to smile about these days.
FLOWERY BRANCH - Coach Mike Smith can't seem to pull the Atlanta Falcons from their two-year rut on the road.
FLOWERY BRANCH - The Atlanta Falcons returned to work on Monday, a bit more upbeat after a week off.
FLOWERY BRANCH - The Atlanta Falcons haven't backed up their offseason promise to be more physical and limit mistakes.
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