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.
FLOWERY BRANCH - The Falcons are giving rookies bigger roles, especially on defense, down the stretch of a lost season.
FLOWERY BRANCH - Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter isn't saying much about his recent interview with Boise State.
FLOWERY BRANCH - Roddy White says the Falcons' 10th loss was especially painful.
FLOWERY BRANCH - The Atlanta Falcons don't know if they'll be facing Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers on Sunday.
FLOWERY BRANCH - Mike Smith knows the value of a strong finish, even in a dismal season such as this one.
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 - Steven Jackson practiced on Monday for the first time in almost a month, and Falcons coach Mike Smith said the running back is on schedule to be play in Atlanta's season opener against New Orleans.
ATLANTA - A healthy Julio Jones made a big difference for Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons' offense.
ATLANTA - From his vantage point in Chicago, Devin Hester saw the Atlanta Falcons as a consistent playoff contender.
FLOWERY BRANCH - Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith has put a strong emphasis since the start of training camp on improving the team's run defense.
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