FLOWERY BRANCH- Coach Mike Smith took his first steps to help the Atlanta Falcons return to NFL relevance, firing defensive line coach Ray Hamilton and offensive line coaches Pat Hill and Paul Dunn on Monday night.
ATLANTA- Carolina's blueprint for playoff success has been set: Let the sack-happy defense lead the way and hope dual-threat quarterback Cam Newton can add just enough offense.
ATLANTA - One year ago, the Falcons dominated the NFC South with 13 wins and Carolina finished six games back, in a three-way tie at 7-9.
FLOWERY BRANCH - Tony Gonzalez is having a harder time saying goodbye to the NFL than he imagined.
FLOWERY BRANCH - The Atlanta Falcons are finishing the season with 11 players on injured reserve, including two additions this week.
FLOWERY BRANCH - Coach Mike Smith says the Atlanta Falcons can't take much satisfaction from almost rallying against the San Francisco 49ers.
SAN FRANCISCO - On a night they cheered "The Catch" and all the San Francisco greats of old, the current 49ers looked ready to move that success right into the future at a flashy new stadium.
SAN FRANCISCO - Tony Gonzalez will have more on his mind than just his final game at Candlestick Park, or all of the family and friends making the trip from Southern California.
SAN FRANCISCO - 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 - Roddy White is beginning to perform like an elite receiver again - just in time for a final visit to one of his favorite stadiums.
FLOWERY BRANCH - Falcons coach Mike Smith hopes his defense is finally starting to understand how to create takeaways.
ATLANTA - From Washington's first possession to the decisive play in the final minute, Atlanta's defense kept finding ways to get its hands on the ball.
ATLANTA - The Redskins, awash in chaos and controversy, may find comfort in the reminder they're not alone in their first-to-worst misery.
ATLANTA - Falcons running back Jason Snelling has retired, ending his seven-year career.
ATLANTA - The Atlanta Falcons have re-signed Corey Peters, one of the team's three defensive tackles who were unrestricted free agents, to a one-year contract.
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