FLOWERY BRANCH - Steven Jackson was looking forward to showing what he could do on a winning team, to really making his mark on the national stage.
FLOWERY BRANCH - Mike Smith is not giving up on the Falcons' season, just as he wouldn't give up in the closing minutes of a lopsided loss to Seattle.
FLOWERY BRANCH - A familiar face returned to the practice field for the Atlanta Falcons on Wednesday.
FLOWERY BRANCH - The Falcons' only two wins this season came when Matt Ryan had no turnovers in almost flawless performances.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Matt Ryan needed a while to figure out the last time he played for a team with a losing record.
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. - Roddy White isn't concerned that he might not be 100 percent healthy for the remainder of the season.
FLOWERY BRANCH - The NFL trade deadline has passed.
FLOWERY BRANCH - Matt Ryan was chatting at his locker when a teammate walked by, making a gesture that caused the Atlanta Falcons quarterback to crack up in the middle of a sentence.
FLOWERY BRANCH - The Falcons' offense may have hit a new low point in the latest loss of a disappointing season.
GLENDALE, Ariz. - Team after team passed on Andre Ellington in the draft.
ATLANTA - Just 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds, Darius Johnson could pass for one of the equipment guys in the Atlanta Falcons locker room.
FLOWERY BRANCH - Matt Ryan needed one of the best games of his career to lead the Falcons and their depleted offense out of their three-game losing streak last week.
FLOWERY BRANCH - Falcons running back Steven Jackson, who has missed the last four games with a hamstring injury, is expected to practice on Wednesday.
ATLANTA - Tight end Tony Gonzalez has talked a lot over the last three years about opponents having to "choose their poison" when facing the Atlanta Falcons.
FLOWERY BRANCH - Atlanta tight end Tony Gonzalez put off retirement for one more year with a single goal in mind: winning his first Super Bowl ring.
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.
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