NFC South Champs and NFC #1 Seed

NFC South Champs!

OH SO SWEET!!! (CCompton/AJC)

It’s official Ladies and Gentlemen: the Atlanta Falcons have won the 2010 NFC South Division, are the #1 Seed in the National Football Conference, and have locked up Dome-Field Advantage for the entire playoffs. It absolutely one of the best seasons in this franchise’s history and fans have enjoyed every minute of it (save for a few games), but everyone wants more since the “real tournament” now begins.

Falcons safety Thomas DeCoud exalts over a 31-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers to win the NFC South at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Jan. 2, 2011.

Celebration Time.....for now. (CCompton/AJC)

The Atlanta Falcons took care of business as they had to early and often against the hapless Carolina Panthers. Some were worried about worst-case scenarios, but those days hopefully are behind for this franchise. According to most of the talking head media, you wouldn’t even know the Falcons are in the playoffs, much less that they are the #1 seed in the NFC and had the second best record in all of football. I’m sure that’s fine and dandy with the coaches and players who can continue to fly under the radar right into the playoffs.

The Falcons will be playing their first game against the remaining lowest seed in the NFC after Wild-Card weekend. The game has already been scheduled for 8 pm and will feature either the Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints, or the winner of the Rams/Seahawks tonight on Sunday Night Football. If anyone had said that the Falcons would be 13-3, the #1 seed in the NFC, and have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, most wouldn’t have believed it and everyone would take it in a heartbeat.

Much more to come later, but for now enjoy being 2010 NFC South Champions, the #1 seed in the NFC, 2nd best record in all of football, and having Dome-Field advantage throughout the playoffs.

CONGRATULATIONS ATLANTA FALCONS:     2010 NFC SOUTH CHAMPIONS!!!!!!!!!

 

Your Turn

-How proud are you of this team this year?

-Honestly, did you see this coming when the year first started?

-Who would you most like to play first as the Falcons start the playoffs?

-Who would you least like to play first as the Falcons begin the tournament?

-What’s the biggest strength the Birds take into the playoffs?

-What’s the biggest weakness the Falcons take into the playoffs?

-Are the Falcons playing on a high enough level as the playoffs begin?

-Is it Super Bowl or bust for you as the regular season (albeit very successful), comes to a close?

649 comments Add your comment

Sarah B

January 2nd, 2011
9:36 pm

Very, Very Very proud of our Birds. I knew we would make the playoffs this year but honestly I didn’t see this coming until after we beat the Ravens then the Packers. Once those 2 things happened I knew the Future was wide open!!! :)

GO FALCONS!!!!!

JB FALCON

January 2nd, 2011
9:38 pm

D3, in answer to all of your questions, it doens’t matter who we play, just whoever steps up next is the next victim.

Wabe

January 2nd, 2011
9:39 pm

I’m siked.

Didn’t expect anything but a win today. 13-3 is incredible. Talking heads in the media love to point out how many bad teams Atlanta has beaten to get their 13 wins constantly ignoring the fact that we did beat a handful of good teams as well.

But, truthfully, I think everybody here sensed this was a team on its way to the playoffs when we were creeping up on 10 wins, and the rest of the season was just a fight for positioning. For most, the true test begins now.

13-3 is great. The NFC South crown is great. Homefield advantage is great.

But, all is a waste if we don’t take advantage of this opportunity that presents itself. This group of guys should know better than anybody after being bounced in 2008 to Arizona that getting to the playoffs is an opportunity that you have to capitalize on when it presents itself. We made the playoffs in ‘08, and we were a one and done. This group knows that feeling, and I’m confident they won’t let everything they’ve achieved this season go to waste.

0-0.
3 more wins…

real falcon fan

January 2nd, 2011
9:46 pm

WHAT A GREAT TEAM! THANKS TEAM ,COACH SMITTY AND STAFF!THANK YOU AWESOME 4TH RANKED SCORING DEFENSE,AND I CAN’T FORGET THE 5TH RANKED OFFENSE OR THE VERY SPECIAL TEAMS! I LOVE THIS TEAM ,WOW GO FALCONS ! WOW AGAIN KEEP IT GOING FALCON’S !

Poppa Falcon

January 2nd, 2011
9:47 pm

Loving what we did today! I firmly believe, however, that this current Falcon squad is capable of putting the ‘icing on the cake.’

AD

January 2nd, 2011
9:47 pm

Real proud of our Birdz today. This is a big step for our organization and city. I can’t tell you how amazing it is to follow this team. They do everything the right way and play the brand of football that I am proud to call Falcons football! I’ve got my tix and my bags packed waiting to come back to the ATL for the showdown in 2 weeks. Until then, I take my hat off to all the players, coaches, fans and front office. Job well done!

Canadian Falcon Fan

January 2nd, 2011
9:48 pm

I’ve been a fan since the early 80’s. This is a great day for all Falcons Fans !

How proud are you of this team this year?………”.can’t say enough”

-Honestly, did you see this coming when the year first started?………”.I new it was going to be a good year but not the top seed.”

-Who would you most like to play first as the Falcons start the playoffs?………..”.Eagles…Payback !”

-Who would you least like to play first as the Falcons begin the tournament?…….”.Aints”

-What’s the biggest strength the Birds take into the playoffs?……..” most well rounded team in football”

-What’s the biggest weakness the Falcons take into the playoffs? ……”Wanting it too much”

-Are the Falcons playing on a high enough level as the playoffs begin?……….”need to take it to another level”

-Is it Super Bowl or bust for you as the regular season (albeit very successful), comes to a close?……………”Yes…very much indeed…Super Bowl or Bust. You don’t get many chances to make it to the dance. Although… they will be a good team for some time.”

waynester

January 2nd, 2011
9:51 pm

Thanks Falcons! I’ve been a fan from the get-go through all the ups & downs and this is the best group of guys I believe we’ve ever had. That’s saying a lot, ’cause we’ve had some great men come through this organization. Arthur Blank found a winning formula and let’s hope this is just the beginning of a TRUE sea-change in Atlanta. I’ve always dreamed of what it must be like to be in the hunt year-in, year-out–hopefully, we’re about to find out!!!!

OpenMinded

January 2nd, 2011
9:54 pm

You mean no half-witted fool said…..”First” ? My we are progressing….

No.1 Falcons Fan

January 2nd, 2011
9:56 pm

Way to go Falcons!!! I am so proud of this team and the entire Falcon’s organization. You have continued to fight hard when needed and all of your hard work has payed off! CONGRATULATIONS NFC South Champs!!!

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Bravesfan79

January 2nd, 2011
9:59 pm

Go Falcons! I knew from the start this would be a special season. Sure hope Tony G stays a few more years.

Canadian Falcon Fan

January 2nd, 2011
10:02 pm

I’ve always hated the…. “first”…. thing.

Kane337

January 2nd, 2011
10:02 pm

NFC South Champs!!!! Sound great, feels great. Can’t wait till 8:00pm Jan 15th. The dome will be rockin’.

Kane337

January 2nd, 2011
10:03 pm

Coop

January 2nd, 2011
10:05 pm

-How proud are you of this team this year? Extremely! Getting into the next question, I knew this was possible looking at the schedule. I think I predicted 12-4, but I didn’t really think they could do that. Good teams win a lot of games, but great teams don’t lose games they’re supposed to win. This team came close a couple of times, but didn’t lose a single game it was supposed to win. Add to that wins against GB and BAL, and here we are. But I’m most proud that we were smart and won all the games we should have. That made today possible even after the loss to NO.

-Honestly, did you see this coming when the year first started? No. I thought it was possible, but after the pre-season, I thought we were in for another 9 win season at best.

-Who would you most like to play first as the Falcons start the playoffs? No question, STL or SEA. I want to win the Superbowl and I don’t care if we beat the “best”. We can be martyrs when we’re going for our next Superbowl.

-Who would you least like to play first as the Falcons begin the tournament? New Orleans. I think we can handle GB much easier than NO (GB still tough). I know a lot of folks want NO, but no thanks. After the first game, I’m most worried about the Eagles. Give me STL, then CHI.

-What’s the biggest strength the Birds take into the playoffs? Health, rest, and balance.

-What’s the biggest weakness the Falcons take into the playoffs? Coaching. I love our coaches, but can Smitty, MM, and BVG come up with playoff worthy game plans? Not a lot of experience there…

-Are the Falcons playing on a high enough level as the playoffs begin? Yes, but it could be higher and they haven’t reached their ceiling. Beating CAR easily is one thing, but struggling against NO is slightly worrisome. We certainly at a NE level of readiness.

-Is it Super Bowl or bust for you as the regular season (albeit very successful), comes to a close? I don’t want to say that it will be a loss if we don’t make/win the Superbowl, but it’s hard not to. We beat every team in the NFC playoffs except the Eagles and Bears. I think we habdle the Bears with ease. If we don’t win a playoff game, it will be a failure. Sorry, but you can’t win 13 then go out on the first playoff game. Losing in the NFC Championship game would be a let down. Depending on how we lost might define my feeling. Losing to the Superbowl would suck cause it’s soooo hard to get there.

Bottom line, the season has been a huge success, but I’ll be crushed if we don’t do something with it.

Cane Pole

January 2nd, 2011
10:07 pm

Its a great day to be a Falcon Fan….HOW BOUT THEM BIRDS….NFC SOUTH CHAMPS…!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bangkapi Ajarn

January 2nd, 2011
10:10 pm

WOW, what a ride – just—WOW

I am preparing a longish post designed to bore most erect homo sapiens, but in the mean time allow me to take a shot at this Sunday’s celebratory question de Jour:

-How proud are you of this team this year?

Proud enough to pop, the first time in 30 years they have attained this lofty status, back when Jimmy Carter was preparing to hand the reins over to Reagan, back when I still had a full head of hair.

-Honestly, did you see this coming when the year first started?
Honestly, yes. I saw them making the playoffs and making it to the NFC Championship game, as far as I was willing to prognosticate. I didn’t see best record in the NFC, I saw two more losses. My bad (said with a sly grin).

-Who would you most like to play first as the Falcons start the playoffs?
Green Bay, better matchup than NO, lets meet them in the NFC Championship game and rearrange their urinary tract in such a way as to return the puddle they left on our logo – frozen into a razor sharp saw blade and inserted forcibly sideways & spinning. Seattle or the Rams are unrealistic expectations at this stage. THIS (Green Bay) is the matchup I predicted as I recall :-) .

-Who would you least like to play first as the Falcons begin the tournament?
NO, of the potential options. I want them filleted for the world to see in the Championship game. That will be the “To be the best you need to beat the best” championship coming out party for the Falcons.

-What’s the biggest strength the Birds take into the playoffs?
Defense.

-What’s the biggest weakness the Falcons take into the playoffs?
Run game is slowing down, injuries?? This was displayed on those two 4th down plays, we seem to be unable to enforce our will when it is crunch time. We did earlier in the season, which is why I think injuries.

-Are the Falcons playing on a high enough level as the playoffs begin?
Yep, undoubtedly. What was weakness last year is now strength (D, Kick game)

-Is it Super Bowl or bust for you as the regular season (albeit very successful), comes to a close?
Ask me after the Superbowl, but generally speaking it sucks to lose your last game, that is what you remember the longest..

LRD

January 2nd, 2011
10:11 pm

Teams in the chase… Packers..beat em, Saints beat em, Rams beat em, Seattle beat em…. Eagles we can finally break the losing trend.. Aints we owe them after last week.. and we didnt play Chicago this year.
We finally get a new flag in the dome with the nfc south win.. hopefully can add a nfc champ one, and ………

Bangkapi Ajarn

January 2nd, 2011
10:13 pm

Coop – great analysis!!

Sgt. Pepper

January 2nd, 2011
10:22 pm

Hey, remember when Flacco was supposed to be the better QB, the Falcons had no chance against the Ravens and the Packers, we should have signed T.O., they were supposed to draft a center first round, and the Saints were favored to win the NFC South???

Me neither!!!!

Go Falcons!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Coop

January 2nd, 2011
10:40 pm

BA – Thanks. Look forward to your’s.

Sgt. P – I still would have drafted a center, but I’m with you on everything else.

Coop

January 2nd, 2011
10:52 pm

Seattle winning in the 4th. What a dream to have GB beat Philly, SEA (or STL) beat NO, then CHI. We would get GB then SEA/STl…

Or STL/SEA then CHI.

Those are the easiest 2 paths to the SB.

Hardest would be NO then Philly… without a doubt.

Coop

January 2nd, 2011
10:57 pm

Any thoughts on why we are playing on Saturday instead of Sunday??? The Pat’s play on Sunday. Why does Chicago (the 2 seed) get the Sunday game? Or is the Saturday 8 pm game considered better than the 1 pm Sunday game?

Sarah B

January 2nd, 2011
11:43 pm

Coop – this may be off base but my opinion on why the Saturday night game – Inside Baby!!! No blizzards, no rain, no -5 degrees…

Sarah B

January 2nd, 2011
11:45 pm

And the guys on SNF just referred to it as “The Prime Time Game”.

Couldn't Resist

January 2nd, 2011
11:58 pm

You mean no half-witted fool said…..”First” ? My we are progressing

FIRST! At what?

Ueeediot

January 3rd, 2011
12:14 am

D3,
I just saw a commercial for the Monster Truck Jam @ the GA Dome Jan 15th. Does this mean that we are definitely the late game Sunday?

2010 NFC South Champs!
Great! Great! Great!
Its a great accomplishment to win this division. I think you could tell from the reaction of the crowd today that a lot of folks are not satisfied with only a division title.
I want more, but I think its important for fans to recognize the accomplishments of the season.

Roddy White is the best receiver in Atlanta history!

Now lets get some playoff wins!

So many highlights of the season, but Matt Ryan is the MVP of this team, or is it Roddy White?
I hope Atlanta fans will stay to the end of the games if the Falcons are winning in the playoffs.

drmondo

January 3rd, 2011
12:16 am

Very Proud of the Falcons this year. Became a fan in Bartkowski’s era, suffered through a lot of bad seasons and actually believe in this team (and not one of those “Charlie Brown with the football” beliefs)!! Thank you for a great season!

Now I hope our coaching staff spends the next week tweeking our offensive plays and formations. I hope whoever comes to play in the dome can’t predict any of our plays. NO jumped on us because of predictibility and GB and Philly have seen us once already. Time to prove to everybody you’re an offensive genius OC. If you really want to be a HC again, this is when to show you deserve recognition…

M

January 3rd, 2011
12:17 am

WE DAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHOS NEXT???????? BRING IT, BABY, BRING IT!

M

January 3rd, 2011
12:27 am

We need to all thank God for Mr. Blank for buying the Falcons and Making them worth watching. I mean the Playoff tickects sold out in 15 minutes online. Dam, what a record. I need tickets man, please!!!!!!!!

Paddy O

January 3rd, 2011
12:58 am

Coop – Your scenario is the same as mine – primarily, the biggest benefit with us playing GB, is that th Eagles would be out. I’d really like to see Seattle defeat NO, then we would play either Seattle or Chicago, and either team I think we can defeat. Prior to the Pittsburgh game, despite our O’s problems in preseason, I saw us as possibly winning 15 games; after the Pittsburgh loss, I lowered expectations to 10 – so 13 is a great accomplishment. We defeated just about every team in the playoffs that we played during the season. The Eagles make me nervous, and I would prefer to that Saints fans cry in Lake Ponchartrain after their team gets knocked out next week & never bother the Cage again. Anybody – missed the game – how did Turner fumble again?

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Samuel

January 3rd, 2011
6:23 am

I really don’t care who we play, I feel this team hasn’t played a all around game yet. I’m not hoping our first game is against Seattle. But if it happens so be it. The defense is playing real well at the right time. The offense at times is not in snyc and the running game has been horrible of late. If we don’t get that running game back we become one dimentional, hence easy to defend.

Eric C.

January 3rd, 2011
6:41 am

All I can say is…pull hard for the Seahawks, the 12th man, rain, and the Eagles next week. Having a divisional round game against Seattle at home would be a virtual lock for the Falcons reaching the NFC Championship game…probably something similar to the 2005 playoff game vs the Rams.
Otherwise, pick your poison when it comes to choosing between the Saints and Packers.

Chop Buster

January 3rd, 2011
7:13 am

Congrats to our Atlanta Falcons!!! We are in the best position possible–at home throughout.

-How proud are you of this team this year? VERY PROUD

-Honestly, did you see this coming when the year first started? No I didn’t. I believe we would get back to the playoffs; but not be the #1 seed.

-Who would you most like to play first as the Falcons start the playoffs? It doesn’t matter to me. Whoever they play I’m just looking for a beat down.

-Who would you least like to play first as the Falcons begin the tournament? We’re not scared. LOL Bring em’ all on.

-What’s the biggest strength the Birds take into the playoffs? Home field advantage. Additionally, I believe our offense will get hot at the right time. The defense has been coming on strong at the end of the season. Shoot, even Dunta got his first interception in the last game of the season. How fitting is that?

-What’s the biggest weakness the Falcons take into the playoffs? Aggressive playcalling on both sides of the ball. This team can go as far as it’s coaches creativeness.

-Are the Falcons playing on a high enough level as the playoffs begin? Yes. They know what’s at stake and don’t want another one and done.

-Is it Super Bowl or bust for you as the regular season (albeit very successful), comes to a close? Superbowl bound! I exepect nothing less at this point.

Eric C.

January 3rd, 2011
7:43 am

Anyone know how serious the Brian Williams injury is?

John Waynesworld

January 3rd, 2011
7:49 am

Thanks again D3. So, we got past that mid-season swoon pretty good huh? lol

What a season! 13-3 with a bye. We couldn’t have asked for better circumstances. Here’s hoping that the Saints have a LOOOOOOOOOOOOONG ride to the Far West only to be greeted by crappy, nasty weather (high 30’s, rain/snow expected on Sunday). Although they may win that game, here’s hoping they have an even LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONGER ride home, only long enough to grab some TheraFlu and some Kleenex and fly up to our house, where our well rested team has a freight train loaded with radioactive PAYBACK ready for them.

WOOHOO!!! Here’s hoping all the NFC teams have really tough games this week!

falcon since 78

January 3rd, 2011
7:52 am

How proud are you of this team this year? I don’t think there’s a word for it.

-Honestly, did you see this coming when the year first started? I picked anywhere between a 12 to 14 win season. Nobody’d listen.

-Who would you most like to play first as the Falcons start the playoffs? Seattle

-Who would you least like to play first as the Falcons begin the tournament? Haven’t decided between Green Bay and New Orleans

-What’s the biggest strength the Birds take into the playoffs? defense

-What’s the biggest weakness the Falcons take into the playoffs? I’m worried about the o-line, but we’ll see when it comes to the week of rest. I feel that’s going to have some to do withi it.

-Are the Falcons playing on a high enough level as the playoffs begin? Yes, but it’s not enough until you are being awarded the Lombardi Trophy.

-Is it Super Bowl or bust for you as the regular season (albeit very successful), comes to a close? I’m not one of those who goes on and on if they didn’t win a playoff game. Watch out for these Falcons, we’re still getting a lot of disrespect. Nobody is talking about our defense. The media wanted the Saints to beat us so bad it almost did what the Saints player allegedly did on our logo, but in theri pants. Anyhoo, I think the D is going to save a game or three.

John Waynesworld

January 3rd, 2011
7:58 am

Oops they play on Saturday…no snow just crappy, nasty weather with highs in the 30’s and rain. Really just a lousy.

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darrell starks

January 3rd, 2011
9:11 am

This year have been the most exciting year in falcons history.
DIV. CHAMPION
GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!

GameReviewer

January 3rd, 2011
9:15 am

If the play calling is the same as it was against New Orleans, it will be “one and done” for the birds. They CANNOT simply run Turner up the middle when they have eight in the box. It won’t work, but they do it OVER and OVER again. It’s madness. This type of stubborn lunacy will be the bords undoing.

Falcons Fan

January 3rd, 2011
9:17 am

Bring on the Eagles in the second round!

True Falcon Fan

January 3rd, 2011
9:26 am

Exciting year, this team most definitely top one or two in Falcons history —- the 98′ team was a very special team, the only issue that team had were guy’s like Bob Casta on a daily bases critizing them as “FLUKES”, but not this team.
Yes this really GREAT — we’ve 3 games to go we are 0-0

Got to BEAT THE BEST TO BE THE BEST!

GO FALCONS GO

John from southwest Atlanta

January 3rd, 2011
9:26 am

3 Philadelphia 1 Atlanta
6 Green Bay

4 Seattle Seahawks
5 New Orleans 2 Chicago

So I think I would like to play the Eagles.

Arno

January 3rd, 2011
9:47 am

Major strength and maybe not enough credit given to Matt Bryant.

Give us the most difficult teams in the dome. Falcons will need the experience and confidence because, at the end of the day, it’s probably going to be Tom Brady on the field – having the best year of his career.

John Waynesworld

January 3rd, 2011
10:00 am

How proud are you of this team this year? Over the top. I am so proud of an Atlanta sports franchise that actually DID what it said it was going to do, unlike countless predecessors in this town.

-Honestly, did you see this coming when the year first started? Yes I did, even when I was surrounded by doubters everywhere. lol No, actually I thought 10-6 max and a wild card spot.

-Who would you most like to play first as the Falcons start the playoffs? The Saints, for payback for the photo (and avenging the home loss)

-Who would you least like to play first as the Falcons begin the tournament? The Packers. They must have this feeling that they should have won the previous meeting in our Dome. They will not be as rattled by the home dome this go-around.

-What’s the biggest strength the Birds take into the playoffs? Ball control, scoring offense, scoring defense and kicking.

-What’s the biggest weakness the Falcons take into the playoffs? 1) The Falcons insistence on using the ground game in the face of a stacked box. 2) No scat back runner to offset the plodding run game. 3) Our defense against the short pass in the red zone.

-Are the Falcons playing on a high enough level as the playoffs begin? Yes, they have been properly coached up to this point and Matty appears very stoic. Let’s hope he keeps that up.

-Is it Super Bowl or bust for you as the regular season (albeit very successful), comes to a close? No. If we win that would be fantastic. Barring the usual flukes like bad penalties or fumbling at crucial times,if we get beat by a strong team this season in no way could be called a “bust”. This already has been a great season, hopefully we can get to the top this time. 13-3 GO FALCONS!!!

Zoomie

January 3rd, 2011
10:20 am

Missed the game due to the school-yard spat between Fox and Dish Network. I was livid! That’s okay, though, Dish Network will be picking up their equipment from my house before the playoffs . . .

Anyway — How proud are you of this team this year? I’m happy for their accomplishments; proud is too strong of a word. The Falcons have been showing some disturbing mental breakdowns over the past few weeks. Makes me nervous going into the playoffs.

-Honestly, did you see this coming when the year first started? Had ‘em pegged for an 11-5 season.

-Who would you most like to play first as the Falcons start the playoffs? Don’t have a preference. The Falcons will have to face tough teams in the playoffs — period. Let’s get ‘em down here to the dome and dispense with them.

-Who would you least like to play first as the Falcons begin the tournament? Again, no preference. Whoever earns a trip to the dome is good enough for me. If the Falcons play to their potential, they can win against any team.

-What’s the biggest strength the Birds take into the playoffs? Balance and true skill at every position. Cohesiveness. Good rotation. great balance between youth and experience.

-What’s the biggest weakness the Falcons take into the playoffs? Apparent coaching issues; stubborn adherence to old-school approach and lack of creativity. Run game lacks explosiveness. Players seem to have mental lapses lately. Ryan’s accuracy lacking in last few match-ups.

-Are the Falcons playing on a high enough level as the playoffs begin? They have all the potential, just need to execute and eliminate the errors.

-Is it Super Bowl or bust? No. The only thing that will make this season a bust for me is if the Falcons are knocked out of the playoffs before the aints.