Defending Super Bowl champion Rams open season as underdogs
Matthew Stafford, Aaron Donald and the Los Angeles Rams will raise their Super Bowl banner Thursday night before kicking off the NFL season at home where they became the second straight team to hoist the Vince Lombardi trophy in their own stadium.
Bills clinch playoff berth, eliminate Falcons with 29-15 win
Devin Singletary scored two touchdowns rushing in the second half to make up for Josh Allen’s sloppiness and the AFC East-leading Buffalo Bills rallied to clinch their third consecutive playoff berth with a 29-15 win over the Atlanta Falcons.
Falcons name Saints' Terry Fontenot as general manager
This photo provided by the New Orleans Saints shows Terry Fonetenot in an undated photo. The Atlanta Falcons named Terry Fontenot the teams general manager, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. The 40-year-old Fontenot becomes Atlantas first Black general manager after spending 18 seasons with division rival New Orleans. Fontenot helped build a consistent winner as the Saints’ vice president and assistant general manager in charge of pro personnel. The Falcons fired general manager Thomas Dimitroff and coach Dan Quinn following a 0-5 start this season, which led to a 4-12 finish, Atlanta's third consecutive losing season.
Brady throws for 4 TDs, Bucs pull away from Falcons 44-27
“It meant the world for him to get that record and, then, to have an easy touchdown," Bucs coach Bruce Arians said. Brady joined Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Dan Marino as the only players with multiple seasons of at least 40 TD passes. “Whatever happens for me as a quarterback is reflective of what we do as an offense,” Brady said. " The latter trimmed Atlanta’s deficit to 30-27 before Brady put the game away with two late drives. Brown had his most productive day since joining the Bucs midway through the season with 11 catches for 138 yards.
Chiefs clinch No. 1 seed when Falcons' Koo misses late FG
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce is tackled by Atlanta Falcons Foyesade Oluokun during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020, in Kansas City. The Chiefs had to watch as Pro Bowl kicker Younghoe Koo missed a tying field-goal attempt with 9 seconds left to escape. The Falcons (4-11) took the lead when Matt Ryan hit Laquon Treadwell for a 5-yard touchdown with 4:33 to go. Kansas City finally took its first lead on Harrison Butker's 53-yard field goal with 14:08 left in the game. The Falcons squandered their first chance to match the points when Brandon Powell coughed up the ball deep in Kansas City territory.
A bonus for NFL fans in Week 16: 4 straight days of games
They do have a sack in an NFL-record 71 straight games and have sacked Philip Rivers 15 times during seven games while he played for the Chargers. Rivers has had two or more TD passes in five straight games. He had career bests of 10 catches for 163 yards last week, and Ridley's seven 100-yard games lead the NFL. The 19 straight seasons without losing both games to a divisional opponent is an NFL record. The Jaguars have allowed at least 24 points in each of those 13 games, an NFL record.
A winner: Chiefs vs Saints, with Brees back to face Mahomes
1 conference seed is tight, with the Packers one game ahead of the Saints, the Rams and Seahawks one game behind. Drew Brees will be active after missing four games with fractured ribs and a collapsed lung, making for an intriguing matchup with Patrick Mahomes. The Bills (11-3) scored twice in a 17-second span in the third quarter to ice their fourth straight victory that officially ended the New England Patriots’ 11-year reign atop the division. The Ravens have run for at least 100 yards in 36 straight games, seven short of the NFL record set by Pittsburgh from 1974-77. Baltimore is averaging 173.8 yards on the ground and topped 200 yards in each of the past two games.
Matchup of division leaders: Seahawks vs Giants. The Giants?
(AP Photo/Chris Szagola)In this strangest of NFL seasons in this weirdest of years, here's a matchup of division leaders you wouldn't expect: Seattle hosting the New York Giants. “If you win your division, you win your division,” Carroll says, and he knows: Seattle went 7-9 in 2010 and won the NFC West, then beat New Orleans in a playoff game. Patrick Mahomes has thrown for at least 300 yards seven times this season and has 22 straight games with at least one TD passing. New England has won the past five meetings, including a 2018 divisional playoff game. Chargers WR Keenan Allen leads the NFL with 85 receptions and has a TD catch in five straight games.
Ryan throws 3 TDs as Falcons stop comeback, beat Broncos
Matt Ryan took advantage of Denver's thin secondary to throw three touchdown passes and the Falcons turned back Drew Lock's bid for a second consecutive comeback to beat the Broncos 34-27 on Sunday. The Broncos' fourth-quarter comeback attempt gave Ryan and the Falcons a scary reminder of blown leads this season. Lock threw two touchdown passes and ran for a 10-yard score in the final quarter that made it 34-27. Lock answered with a 9-yard scoring pass to Tim Patrick with less than four minutes remaining. We'll get them next time.”CATCH THISZaccheaus beat Davontae Harris for a 51-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter.
Ryan, Falcons avenge earlier loss to Panthers, 25-17
The Falcons (2-6) have had a penchant for squandering leads this season, coming into the game 1-3 when leading entering the fourth quarter. Carolina was driving late, but Atlanta stalled the rally when Blidi Wreh-Wilson intercepted Teddy Bridgewater near the Falcons' 10-yard line with 1:04 remaining. Moore on third and 18 to move the Panthers into Falcons territory. Bridgewater was limited to 176 yards passing as the Panthers (3-5) lost their third straight game without injured Christian McCaffrey. The Falcons avenged a 23-16 loss to Carolina 18 days ago in which Bridgewater threw for 313 yards and two scores and Mike Davis piled up 149 yards rushing.
Lions stun Falcons 23-22 after letting Atlanta score late TD
Detroit Lions defensive end Trey Flowers (90) celebrates during the second half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Atlanta. Gurley landed on the goal line for a touchdown that, as it turned out, led to another stunning loss for the Atlanta Falcons. Detroit let Gurley score with just over a minute remaining to get the ball back, giving Matthew Stafford enough time to drive the Lions to the winning TD as time expired Sunday. “Just an amazing game,” Detroit coach Matt Patricia said. That backed up the extra-point attempt to the 30-yard line, but Prater knocked it through to win the game.
NFL will be cautious with players, coaches who have symptoms
ATLANTA – The NFL plans to take a cautious approach that may force players and coaches reporting flu symptoms to miss games without testing positive for COVID-19. The Atlanta Falcons closed their facility Thursday following a second positive test for COVID-19. The New England Patriots have twice had their original Week 5 matchup against Denver postponed following four positive coronavirus tests by players. “This decision was made in consultation with the NFL and medical officials,” the team said in a statement. They make sure that they know everyone is aware even if they catch you with your mask down a little bit, they’ll make sure you move it up.”The Falcons had seven players test positive during training camp.
End of the line: Coach Quinn, GM Dimitroff fired by Falcons
Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn stands with Atlanta Falcons Owner Arthur Blank before the first half of an NFL football game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020, in Atlanta. Quinn was hired by the Falcons in 2015 after a highly successful run as Seattle’s defensive coordinator, highlighted by two straight trips to the Super Bowl. After going 8-8 his first season, Quinn guided the Falcons to one of the greatest years in team history. The Falcons made the playoffs again the following year, losing to eventual Super Bowl champion Philadelphia, but never seemed to fully shake their Super Bowl debacle. Dimitroff kept his job when Smith was fired at the end of the 2014 season after two straight losing campaigns.
Rodgers, Tonyan lead Packers to 30-16 victory over Falcons
Tonyan caught three of Aaron Rodgers’ four touchdown passes, Za'Darius Smith recorded three sacks and the Packers remained unbeaten with a 30-16 victory over the winless Atlanta Falcons on Monday night. “I just had to continue to do what I've been doing, just keep playing well and stick to the game plan,” Tonyan said. Green Bay star receiver Davante Adams sat out a second straight game with a hamstring injury and Allen Lazard is on injured reserve with a core problem. Tonyan has scored in three straight games and now has five touchdown catches to match Tampa Bay's Mike Evans for the NFL lead. Defensive tackle Kenny Clark (groin) missed a third straight game.
Another Falcons collapse: Foles' 3 TDs lead 30-26 Bears win
Chicago Bears strong safety Tashaun Gipson (38) celebrates his interception of Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Atlanta. The Chicago Bears won 30-26. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Another Falcons collapse: Foles' 3 TDs lead 30-26 Bears win
The Falcons surrendered a 16-point advantage in the final 6 1/2 minutes to the Chicago Bears, who got three touchdown passes from backup quarterback Nick Foles and pulled out a 30-26 win on Sunday. It would have seemed downright improbable — if it hadn't happened for the second week in a row. The former Super Bowl MVP won it with a 28-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Miller with 1:53 remaining. He tossed a 3-yard touchdown pass to Graham to make it 26-16 with 6:20 to go. But Foles got his chance after Trubisky threw an interception in the third quarter that led to a Falcons field goal, pushing the lead to 26-10.
Column: Another grim chapter for Atlanta's sports history
Dallas Cowboys cornerback C.J. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)ATLANTA – As the ball spun slowly along the turf at Jerry’s World, the black-clad players backing away like it was a live grenade, Atlanta’s grim sports history flooded the consciousness. There was never any doubt a Dallas player would fall on the onside kick before the Falcons did. There was never any doubt the game-winning kick would almost perfectly split the uprights, handing a team from Atlanta an almost unfathomable defeat. The Falcons led 20-0 in the first quarter after Dallas fumbled the ball away three times.
Cowboys' rally stuns Falcons 40-39 in McCarthy's home debut
Dallas Cowboys' Chris Jones (6) and others celebrate with kicker Greg Zuerlein (2) after Zuerlein kicked a field goal to help the Cowboys to a 40-39 win against the Atlanta Falcons in an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
Cowboys' rally stuns Falcons 40-39 in McCarthy's home debut
Dallas Cowboys' Chris Jones (6) and others celebrate with kicker Greg Zuerlein (2) after Zuerlein kicked a field goal to help the Cowboys to a 40-39 win against the Atlanta Falcons in an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)ARLINGTON, Texas – One gamble after another failed for coach Mike McCarthy in his home debut with the Dallas Cowboys. Greg Zuerlein kicked a 46-yard field goal as time expired, and the Cowboys overcame four fumbles and a 20-point deficit in the first quarter to beat the Atlanta Falcons 40-39 on Sunday. The Falcons pushed the lead to 39-24 on Younghoe Koo's fourth field goal with just under eight minutes left. Calvin Ridley was the leader for the Falcons this week with 109 yards and two touchdowns.
Gurley celebrates 26th birthday as Falcons' new lead back
Monday was his first day on the Atlanta Falcons' practice fields, and he was upbeat about adjusting to new teammates, new coaches and his new playbook for the start of training camp. First of all, none of yall told me happy birthday yet, so Im kind of upset with you, Gurley said. Gurley was the 2017 Offensive Player of the Year, and his 58 rushing touchdowns since his 2015 debut lead the league. The Falcons are counting on Gurley to join quarterback Matt Ryan and wide receiver Julio Jones as the leaders of the offense. I feel like theyve been doing a pretty good job with that and today it started good, Gurley said.
NFL commissioner Goodell encourages team to sign Kaepernick
FILE - In this Dec. 12, 2018, file photo, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during a news conference in Irving, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)Roger Goodell would like to see Colin Kaepernick back in the NFL this season. The NFL commissioner said during ESPN's The Return of Sports special on Monday that he is encouraging teams to sign the 32-year old quarterback, who hasn't played the past three seasons. If he wants to resume his career in the NFL, then obviously its gonna take a team to make that decision. I hope were at a point now where everybodys committed to making long-term, sustainable change, Goodell said.
Despite far more support, kneeling might not be widespread
(AP Photo/Mark Zaleski, File)NFL players who want to kneel during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racism have far more support than Colin Kaepernick did four years ago. Lastly, some owners might still have an issue with it despite the leagues support of the players. Whatever our team ends up doing, were gonna support. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones strongly opposed kneeling when Kaepernick began the movement and he hasnt spoken on the issue. ... theyve all dealt with something at some point, whether its with the police or another interaction of just blatant racism, said Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
Formerly Homeless Man Tries Out for Cleveland Browns, Gets Signed With Team
The 24-year-old went from being homeless to becoming a star on the Cleveland Browns. An old flag football team mate told him about the Browns spring practice, but he wasnt invited. That impressive showing earned him an invite to the Browns practice the following week. At that practice, Sheehy-Guiseppi dazzled the team. RELATED STORIESMeet the Star NFL Player With 1 HandNFL Superstar Matt Ryan Tries (and Fails) to Teach His 1-Year-Old Twins FootballBachelorettes in Nashville Upset NFL Draft Is Taking Over City
Twins on Their Way to Twin Festival Confuse Ohio State Trooper
A state trooper in Ohio got mixed-up when he encountered a set of twins driving identical vehicles with one small difference. Andy and Chad Baker were driving their Teslas from Nashville, Tennessee, to the Twin Days Festival in Twinsburg, Ohio, when the trooper pulled them over, according to WEWS. Andy said that once the trooper noticed the small difference, he got a kick out of it before letting them go. Around the same time last year, the twins were pulled over in Ohio on their way to the same festival. RELATED STORIESNFL Superstar Matt Ryan Tries (and Fails) to Teach His 1-Year-Old Twins FootballMom of Twins With Different Skin Colors Celebrates Their Special BondMary-Kate and Ashley: Where Are the Olsen Twins Now?