FLOWERY BRANCH - Falcons coach Mike Smith knows that most of the bounces are going Atlanta's way this season.
ATLANTA - They were known as the "Dirty Birds," a colorful cast of characters who came closer than any other team to bringing a Super Bowl championship to Atlanta.
FLOWERY BRANCH - Having finished up a light workout, Roddy White decides it's time to have some fun. He breaks out a little remote-controlled helicopter - an early Christmas gift from one of his teammates - and begins flying it around the Atlanta Falcons' locker room.
ATLANTA - In the room leading to his office, Arthur Blank has proudly displayed a football commemorating the first back-to-back winning seasons in the history of the Atlanta Falcons.
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. - Michael Turner has resumed his role as Atlanta's Mr. Dependable.
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. - Eric Weems doesn't have much time to make an impression. A few seconds here, a play or two there.
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. - Fullback Ovie Mughelli says the Atlanta Falcons want to graduate from the regular season at the top of the NFC's class.
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. - Maybe it's time to stop calling Matt Ryan one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL.
ATLANTA - Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons plan to enjoy January in the Georgia Dome.
ST. LOUIS - Former Missouri linebacker Aaron O'Neal never made it to the NFL. Yet his college teammate William Moore is making sure that O'Neal's legacy is not forgotten.
FLOWERY BRANCH - The Atlanta Falcons are at their best when playing takeaway.
FLOWERY BRANCH - Tony Gonzalez lets his mind drift at times. He sees himself standing on the field at the end of the Super Bowl, the confetti dropping all around, a championship finally his.
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. - No NFL team has a better record than Mike Smith's Falcons, and perhaps none has made fewer headlines.
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. - The Atlanta Falcons are sitting atop the NFC standings at 7-2 and they've won three straight games.
ATLANTA - AFC vs. NFC. First place vs. first place. Talented offense vs. bruising defense.
FLOWERY BRANCH - Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant expects to be exhausted by the end of Atlanta's NFC South showdown Sunday at New Orleans.
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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