The Rise of the Atlanta Falcons: From Expansion Team to Super Bowl Runners-Up

The Rise of the Atlanta Falcons: From Expansion Team to Super Bowl Runners-Up

Are you a fan of the Atlanta Falcons or curious about their journey from expansion team to Super Bowl runners-up? In this article, we will explore the rise of the Atlanta Falcons in the NFL, highlighting key moments and players that have contributed to their success. From humble beginnings to reaching the pinnacle of the sport, the Falcons’ story is one of perseverance, determination, and passion for the game. Join us as we delve into the history of the Atlanta Falcons and uncover the secrets behind their remarkable rise in the NFL.

The Beginning of the Atlanta Falcons

Formation of the team

The Atlanta Falcons were established in 1965 as an expansion team in the NFL. The team’s creation was a result of the growing popularity of football in the Southeastern United States and the desire for an NFL franchise in Atlanta.

Early struggles

In their early years, the Falcons faced numerous challenges and struggles as a new team in the league. They struggled to find their footing and establish themselves as a competitive force in the NFL. The team went through several coaching changes and roster adjustments in an effort to improve their performance on the field.

First taste of success

Despite their early struggles, the Atlanta Falcons experienced their first taste of success in the 1970s. Led by star players like quarterback Steve Bartkowski and running back William Andrews, the Falcons began to make a name for themselves in the league. They clinched their first playoff berth in 1978 and went on to make several playoff appearances in the following years, setting the stage for their rise to prominence in the NFL.

The Rise to Prominence

The Atlanta Falcons have come a long way since their inception as an expansion team in 1966. Over the years, the Falcons have worked tirelessly to build a competitive team that has garnered respect and recognition in the NFL.

Key players and coaches

One of the key factors in the Falcons’ rise to prominence has been the talent and leadership of key players and coaches. Throughout the years, the Falcons have been fortunate to have standout players such as Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and Deion Sanders. These players have brought skill, determination, and a winning mentality to the team, helping to propel them to success. Additionally, the Falcons have been led by notable coaches like Dan Quinn and Mike Smith, who have instilled a winning culture and strategic vision for the team.

Playoff appearances

The Falcons have made several playoff appearances throughout their history, showcasing their ability to compete at the highest level. One of the most memorable playoff runs came in the 2016 season when the Falcons made it all the way to the Super Bowl, ultimately finishing as runners-up. This impressive playoff run solidified the Falcons as a force to be reckoned with in the NFL and demonstrated their ability to compete with the best teams in the league.

Building a competitive team

Building a competitive team takes time, dedication, and strategic planning. The Falcons have focused on drafting talented players, making key acquisitions in free agency, and developing a strong team culture to foster success. By investing in their roster and coaching staff, the Falcons have been able to build a team that consistently competes for playoff spots and has the potential to make deep postseason runs. Their commitment to building a competitive team has been instrumental in their rise to prominence in the NFL.

Super Bowl Runners-Up

The Atlanta Falcons had a remarkable journey to Super Bowl LI, where they emerged as runners-up in a thrilling game against the New England Patriots. This historic moment marked a significant milestone for the franchise and its loyal fan base.

Road to the Super Bowl

The Falcons had an impressive regular season in 2016, finishing with an outstanding record of 11-5. Led by star quarterback Matt Ryan and dynamic wide receiver Julio Jones, the team’s high-powered offense was a force to be reckoned with. They breezed through the playoffs, defeating the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers to secure their spot in the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl Appearance

In Super Bowl LI, the Falcons faced off against the New England Patriots in a highly anticipated matchup. They got off to a strong start, building a commanding lead of 28-3 in the third quarter. However, the Patriots staged a historic comeback, scoring 25 unanswered points to force the game into overtime. Despite their best efforts, the Falcons ultimately fell short, losing 34-28 in a heartbreaking defeat.

Impact on the Franchise

Although the Falcons fell just short of winning the Super Bowl, their impressive performance had a lasting impact on the franchise. The team’s success brought national recognition and instilled a sense of pride in their dedicated fan base. The experience of reaching the championship game served as motivation for the Falcons to continue striving for greatness in the seasons to come.


The Atlanta Falcons have come a long way from their humble beginnings as an expansion team in 1966. Through hard work, dedication, and strategic decision-making, they have transformed into a powerhouse in the NFL. Their journey to becoming Super Bowl runners-up in 2016 is a testament to their resilience and determination. As the Falcons continue to strive for greatness, it is clear that their rise is far from over. With a talented roster and a passionate fan base behind them, the future looks bright for the Atlanta Falcons.