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 On September 11th the Falcons took the field at Atlanta Fulton County Stadium led by Coach Norm Hecker, for their first official game against the Los Angeles Rams. After the Rams jumped out to a 16-0 lead, the Falcons scored 14 points to get back in the game. However, the Rams would score a FG, to ice a 19-14 win, dropping the Falcons to 0-1. The Falcons would go on to lose their first 9 games before traveling to New York on November 20th where they beat the Giants 26-14. The Falcons would go on to split their final 4 games to finish with a 3-11 record in their inaugural season.

1967: The Falcons are a major disappointment in their second season only posting 1 win in a dreadful 1-12-1 season, in which QB Randy Johnson throws more than 2 Interceptions for every Touchdown.

1968: After another dreadful 0-3 start, Coach Norm Hecker is fired and replaced by legendary QB Norm Van Brocklin. After losing their first game under the Dutchman, the Falcons defeated the New York Giants at Fulton County Stadium 24-21. However, the Falcons would win only one more game the rest of the way, and would go on to finish with an awful 2-12 record.

1969: The Falcons get the season off on the right note as they defeat the San Francisco 49ers at Fulton County Stadium. However, the Falcons would lose their next 3 playing some of the top teams in the NFL, as they got off to a 3-8 start. On December 7th at Fulton County Stadium FB Harmon Wages has the game of a lifetime, throwing a TD pass, receiving a TD pass and running for a TD pass, as the Falcons beat the New Orleans Saints 45-17. The win was first of 3 wins to close the season, as the Falcons finished with a vastly improved 6-8 record.

1970: The Falcons play solid football as they get off to a 3-3 start. However, the Falcons would win just one more game the rest of the way, while finishing with a disappointing 4-8-2 record.

1971: The Falcons entered their final game of the season in New Orleans on December 19th with a 6-6-1 record, needing a win against the Saints for their first winning season. Rookie WR Ken Burrow playing with a broken wrist has his 2nd game in which he collected 190 receiving yards as the Falcons score with 40 seconds left to pull out a 24-20 win for their first winning season at 7-6-1.

1972: Standing at 7-5 the Falcons travel to San Francisco with NFC Western Division Title on the line. However, the Falcons are never in the game and see their playoff hopes end with a 20-0 shutout loss at the hands of the 49ers. Facing the Kansas City Chiefs in their final game of the season at Fulton County Stadium RB Dave Hampton surpasses the 1,000-yard mark on the season. However, a play later he is thrown for a 6-yard loss and ends the season with 995 yards, as the Falcons lose and finish 7-7. 

1973: The Falcons start the season in impressive fashion by destroying the Saints 62-7 in New Orleans. However, the Falcons would only mage 15 points total in their next 3 games, which were all losses. The Falcons would recover to win their next 7 games to get into contention for the playoffs, scoring more then 40 points 3 times. However, the Falcons would drop 2 of their final 3 games to finish with a 9-5 record, missing the playoffs by 1 game. Meanwhile RB Dave Hampton came tantalizingly close to the 1,000-yard mark falling 3 yards short with 997.

1974: The Falcons stumble out of the gate losing their first 3 games. After winning their next 2 the Falcons continue to struggle losing their next 3 before Coach Norm Van Brocklin is fired and replaced by Marion Campbell. Under Campbell the Falcons continued to struggle losing their next 5 before winning their final game of the season to finish with a disappointing 3-11 record.

1975: Under rookie QB Steve Bartkowsi the Falcons struggle again and finish with a 4-10 record. Despite the poor record, RB Dave Hampton final achieves his goal by rushing for 61 yards in his final game to tally up 1,002 yards on the season.

1976: Steve Bartkowski continues to struggle in his 2nd year as Quarterback, throwing only 2 TDs, while being picked off 9 times. Bartkowski would alter be benched in favor of Kim McQuilken who was even worse throwing 10 interceptions to just 2 TDs. Amid this backdrop the Falcons stood at 4-8 when Coach Marion Campbell resigned. The Falcons would go on to lose their final 2 games under Pat Peppler to finish at 4-10.

1977: Under new Coach Leeman Bennett, the Falcons have one of the finest defenses, in NFL history; nicknamed the "Gritz Blitz" they allow just 129 setting a record for a14-game season. However, the Falcons offense would have trouble putting points on the board themselves tallying just 179 points, in a 7-7 season.

1978: Trailing the Saints 17-6 in New Orleans with 2:23 left in the game the Falcons drive 80 yards to get with in 4 points. The Falcons would get the ball back as time was winding down needing a miracle to pull out a win. As the clock struck zero QB Steve Bartkowski heaved up a pass 57 yards where WR Alfred Jackson emerged from a cluster to pull out victory 20-17. The win capped a 5 game winning streak and improved to 7-4 on the season. The Falcons would lose 3 of their final 5 games, but were still able to qualify for the playoffs with a 9-7 record. Hosting the Philadelphia Eagles in their first ever playoff game, the Falcons scored 2 TDs in their final 14 minutes to pullout a 14-13 win, as the Eagles missed a FG as time expired. A week later the Falcons were 14-point underdogs facing the Cowboys in Dallas. The Falcons would actually take a 20-13 lead into halftime, but the Cowboys would battle back to take a 27-20 lead. With one last shot the Falcons would fall inches short of a first down on the Cowboys 32 yard line, as the Cowboys got the ball and ran down the clock.   

1979: Rookie FB William Andrews has an impressive debut rushing for 167 yards in a 40-34 overtime win over the Saints in the season opener in New Orleans. Andrews would go on to set a club record with 1,023 yards, while QB Steve Bartkowski became the first Flacon to surpass the 2,000-yard mark with 2,505. However, the Falcons defense struggled allowing 388 points in a disappointing 6-10 start.  

1980: After a 3-3 start the Falcons fly off to an amazing 9-game winning streak as QB Steve Bartkowski has a career season passing for 3,544 yards while connecting on 31 TDs passes, as the Falcons won their first ever division Championship. Despite a 20-17 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on the road in overtime in their final game, which dropped them to 12-4 the Falcons, would earn home field through out the playoffs. Playing before 60,022 fans at Fulton County Stadium the Falcons lead the Dallas Cowboys 24-10 in the 4th Quarter. However, the Cowboys would score 20 points to stun the Falcons 30-27.

1981: The Falcons get off to a solid 3-0 start, but lose 3 key starters for the season in a 34-17 win at Fulton County Stadium over the San Francisco 49ers. The Falcons would go to finish the season with a disappointing 7-9 record, losing 7 games by 5 points or less.

1982: In a season interrupted by a 2-month Player's strike the Falcons get off to a 5-2 start sewing up a playoff spot. However, by being blown out in their final 2 games the Falcons are forced to start the playoffs on the road in Minnesota. The Falcons would lead the game 21-16 entering the 4th Quarter, despite not scoring an offensive Touchdown, but would end up falling 30-24 to the Vikings. Following the game Coach Leeman Bennett is dismissed, and replaced by Dan Henning.

1983: William Andrews sets a new club record with 1,567 yards rushing, as QB Steve Bartkowski has another stellar season passing for 3,167 yards. However, the Falcons defense gets burned for 389 points on the season as the Falcons finish with a 7-9 record.

1984: The Falcons are dealt a tremendous blow before the season even starts when RB William Andrews severely injures his knee in a preseason workout. The injury would effectively end his career. In the season opener Andrews replacement Gerald Riggs would step in and rush for 202 yards in a season opening win over the Saints in New Orleans. Riggs would go on to rush for 1,486 yards on the season, while scoring 13 TDs. However the Falcons porous defense allows 382 points as the Falcons finish with a terrible 4-12 record. 

1985: Gerald Riggs has a stellar season rushing for 1,719 yards, as the Falcons play most of the season without QB Steve Bartkowski. However, the Falcons defense is the weak spot again allowing an embarrassing 452 points as the Falcons finish with a 4-12 record for the 2nd season in a row. 

1986: With David Archer replacing QB Steve Bartkowski, who had been released, the Falcons get off to a solid 5-1-1 start. However, the Falcons would only win 2 mores the rest of the season finishing with a 7-8-1 record. Following the season Coach Dan Henning is fired, and replaced by Marion Campbell who led the Falcons from 1974-1976. The season also marked the end to Jeff Van Note's 18-year career; the Falcons would honor their center by retiring his number, and presenting him with a 57 Chevy prior to his final game.  

1987: In Marion Campbell's return to sidelines the Falcons suffer a miserable 3-12 season as they have trouble finding a replacement for QB Steve Bartkowski, whose career was cut short due to injuries.

1988: The Falcons would endure another awful season finishing in last place with a terrible 5-11 season. However, CB Scott Case provided some what of a bright spot by intercepting 10 passes on the season whole earning player of the month honors in November. 

1989: Just days after ending his holdout and hitting a Home Run for the New York Yankees, Deion Sanders starts his NFL career with a bang by scoring a Touchdown on a 67-yard Punt return. However, the Falcons would still lose to the Los Angeles Rams at Fulton County Stadium 31-21. It would be the first time an athlete hit a HR and scored a TD in the same week. The Falcons would continue to struggle and after a 3-9 start Coach Marion Campbell is fired and replaced by Jim Hanifan. The Falcons would go on to lose their final 4 games finishing at 3-13, despite a stellar season in which Deion collected over 1,000 in return yards.

1990: Now led by Coach Jerry Glanville who was known for his black wardrobe, the Falcons return to the black uniforms form their early days while introducing a new black helmet. The Falcons would start the season in impressive fashion blowing out the Houston Oilers, who fired Glanville 9 months earlier, 47-27 at Fulton County Stadium. The Falcons would lose their next 4 before hosting the Cincinnati Bengals in a Primetime Sunday Night match up. The game would be the highest rated Sunday Night game of the season as Neon Deion shined with a 79-yard Punt Return for a TD in a 38-17 win. The Falcons would go on to finish with a 5-11 record, while Deion Sanders became one of the most popular players in the NFL.   

1991: Using MC Hammer's song "Too Legit to Quit" as a rallying cry the Falcons pull off another of 4th Quarter Comebacks in their final season at Fulton County Stadium. None of these comebacks was bigger then 44-yard last second prayer caught by Michael Haynes at Fulton County Stadium that beat the San Francisco 49ers 17-14. It was part of a stretch in which they won 6 out of 7 games, while compiling an impressive 7-1 record against division opponents, finishing with a 10-6 record, which was just barely good enough for the 6th seed in the playoffs. As it turned out the Big Ben Pass made the difference because they made it to the postseason via tiebreaker over the 49ers. In the Wild Card Game the Falcons traveled down Bourbon Street for a match up with the Saints. With WR Michael Haynes scoring 2 TD receptions including a 67-yarder in the 4th Quarter the Falcons pulled off an upset win 27-20. However, their season would end a week later with a 24-7 loss in Washington to the eventual Super Bowl Champion Redskins.   

1992: Prior to the start of the season the Falcons trade 2nd year QB Brett Favre to the Green Bay Packers, for a draft pick. The move would go on to be one of the biggest blunders n franchise history. The Falcons would start their season off with a 20-17 win over the New York Jets in front of a sellout crowd of 65,585 at the brand new Georgia Dome. After losing 3 of their next 4 Deion Sanders pulled double duty playing for the Falcons in a heartbreaking 21-17 loss to the Dolphins in Miami, before returning to play for the Braves in a playoff game that night. The Falcons would go on to finish the season with a disappointing 6-10 record, as their defense allowed 414 points playing more then half the season with out Primetime.

1993: Pro Bowl CB Deion Sanders continued to be an impact player; picking off 7 passes while shutting down the league's top receivers. However, he was just one player and the Falcons could not cover up weaknesses in other defensives potions allowing 385 points in another 6-10 season. Following the season Coach Jerry Glanville is fired, and replaced by June Jones.

1994: With the loss of Deion Sanders to Free Agency, the Falcons, get back to business of football, put aside the showmanship of Primetime, which had become more of a distraction then weapon. The Falcons would also upgrade their QB position by acquiring Jeff George. In his first season George would pass for 3,734 yards, while connecting with WR Terrance Mathis 111 times. The Falcons would play solid football most of the season while compiling a 7-9 record.  

1995: The Falcons get off to a strong 5-2 start Jeff George embarks on an impressive season in which he passes for 4,143 yards. However, the Falcons would lose 5 of their next 8, and needed a win in their final game to make the playoffs. Things looked bleak as the Falcons fell behind early at the Georgia Dome, and lost George to a concussion. However, backup QB Bobby Hebert would lead a 4th Quarter comeback that was capped by a game winning TD pass to Terrance Mathis which won the game 28-27, and sent the Falcons to the playoffs with a 9-7 record. Among the impressive stats on the season where 4 players who racked up over 1,000 yards; on the ground Craig "Ironhead" Heyward rushed for 1,083 yards, while Eric Metcalf, Terrance Mathis, and Bert Emmanuel collected 1,000 in receptions. However, the Falcons season would end quickly with a 37-20 loss in Green Bay to the Brett Favre led Packers.

1996: During a 0-8 start frustrations boil over as QB Jeff George, and Coach June Jones are involved in an ugly screaming match during a Sunday Night 33-18 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles at the Georgia Dome. The resulting fall out would see George kicked off the team, and was part of a disappointing 3-13 season. The George incident would also lead to the dismissal of Jones following the season.

1997: Under new Coach Dan Reeves the Falcons get off to a shaky 1-7 start. However, once players got use to his system the team would finish the season strong winning 6 of their final 8 games to finish with a 7-9 record. The season would also see the end of an era when Rankin Smith owner from the beginning passes away at the age of 72, just hours before a Sunday Night game against the Carolina Panthers.

1998: The dirty bird became the hottest dance in the NFL as RB Jamal Anderson had a breakout season rushing for 1,846 yards, while scoring 16 TDs. Led by Anderson the Falcons would seize the momentum they had from the last season and would get off to a 5-1 start. After a horrid 28-3 loss toe the Jets in New York the Falcons embarked on a season ending 9-game winning streak that helped them capture the NFC West with a 14-2 record. However, the season was not without it tenuous moments as Coach Dan Reeves missed the final 2 games of the season recovering form an emergency Quadruple bypass on his heart. Dan Reeves, who earned Coach of the Year honors, would return for the playoffs as the Falcons hosted the San Francisco 49ers in the Divisional Playoffs. The Falcons would jump out quickly to a 14-0 lead. However the offense would stall, and would need the defense to step it up as the held on for a heart stopping 20-18 win the advance to the NFC Championship for the first time. Facing the 15-1 Vikings the Falcons were considerable underdogs traveling to Minnesota. Down 20-7 late in the 2nd Quarter the Falcons looked to be going down for the count. However, the Falcons would suddenly grab momentum seize on a turnover, to get back into the game at halftime 20-14. The Falcons defense would step it up and limit the high-powered Vikings offense to just 7 points in the 2nd half. However, with late in the 4th Quarter the Falcons still trailed 27-20, with Vikings kicker Gary Anderson setting up for a 38-yard FG. Anderson had not missed a FG all season, but his kick sailed left, and kept the Falcons hopes alive. The Falcons would go on to tie the game when Chris Chandler connected with Terrance Mathis just after the 2-minute warning. The game would go into overtime where Morten Andersen nailed a 39-yard FG to give the Falcons an improbable victory sending them to the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl XXXIII: Facing the Denver Broncos in Miami, the Falcons became a victim of Super Bowl hype, early as Coach Dan Reeves, got involved in verbal sparring with Broncos Coach Mike Shanahan, and QB John Elway, both of whom he had a major falling out with while Coaching in Denver. Things would only get worse the night before the game when FS Eugene Robinson is arrested for soliciting prostitution the night before the game. The Broncos would jump out to a 17-6 halftime lead as Robinson is beaten on an 80-yuard TD pass. The Broncos would go on to jump out to a 31-6 lead, before Tim Dwight provide the Falcons lone highlight of the game with a 94-yard kickoff return for a TD, as the Falcons season ended with a bitter 34-19 loss. 

1999: Jamal Anderson suffers a season ending knee injury in the 2nd week of the season as the Falcons lose their first 4 games, on the way to 3-11 start. The Falcons would close out the season by winning their last 2 games, but a 5-11 record, made their Super Bowl season look like a fluke.

2000: The Falcons get off to a 2-1 start before the injury bug attacks again, as the Falcons lose 11 of their next 12. The Falcons would close the season with a win to finish 4-12, but it became clear, a change was needed. RB Jamal Anderson would collect 1,024 yards rushing, despite missing about half the season with various ailments. Following the season the Falcons would make a blockbuster draft day trade to select can't miss QB prospect Michael Vick number 1 overall.

2001: The Falcons alternate wins and losses all season before finishing with a 7-9 record. During the season Michael Vick looked impressive in limited action passing for 785 yards while collecting 300 yards with his legs. Following the season the Falcons would release QB Chris Chandler assuring Vick of the starting job. In addition the Falcons released RB Jamal Anderson after another injury-plagued season in which he was limited to 190 yards rushing. To replace Anderson the Falcons signed Free Agent Warrick Dunn.

2002: In their first full year with Michael Vick at starting Quarterback the Falcons got off to a slow start losing their first 2 games in heartbreak fashion. Losing in overtime to the Green Bay Packer, then losing 14-13 on a missed field goal by Jay Feeley in their home opener against the Chicago Bear. However, against the Cincinnati Bengals a week later the Falcons got their first win, as a national audience showcased the talents of the Falcons young starting QB. After falling to 1-3 with a home loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the Falcons showed some resiliency by beating the New York giants on the road with backup QB Doug Johnson subbing for an injured Michael Vick. Vick would return the following week as the Falcons went unbeaten in their next 7 games culminating with an exciting 30-24 overtime win over the Minnesota Vikings in which Vick scored the running Touchdown on a dynamic 46-yard run, that was part of a record breaking 173 rushing yards for the multitalented QB. However, down the stretch the Falcons would struggle winning just 1 of their final 4 games. Nonetheless their 9-6-1 record was good enough for a playoff spot as Michael Vick had an impressive first year as starter with 777 rushing yards and 2936 passing yards. In the playoffs Michael Vick would show the poise of a veteran rushing for 64 yards in the snow as the Falcons became the first road team ever to beat the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field in the playoffs 27-7. However a week later the Falcons would be clipped by the Philadelphia Eagles 20-6.

2003: The Falcons playoff hopes took a blow before the season even started as QB Michael Vick suffered a broken leg in the preseason. Despite missing Vick, the Flacons started the season strong with a solid 27-13 win on the road over the Dallas Cowboys with backup QB Doug Johnson. They appeared to be off to a strong start again in their home opener the following week as they had an early 17-0 lead over the Washington Redskins. However the Redskins would come roaring back and would stun the Falcons 33-31. Things would go from bad to worse as the loss started a 7-game losing streak in which the Flacons were barley competitive losing their next 6 games by an average of 20 points. With Vick healing slower then expected frustrations began to boil over as Coach Dan Reeves questioned his toughness. The Flacons losing streak would come to an with a solid 27-7 road win over the New York Giants, but it was too late to save the Falcons season, as they continued to struggle without Vick losing their next 2 games, before he finally returned during a 17-13 loss on the road to the Houston Texans. Hoping to salvage their lost season Michael Vick made his first start the following week against the Carolina Panthers. With his legs and with his arm Vick accounted for 320 yards as the Falcons stunned the eventual NFC Champions in overtime 20-14. However the win was too late to salvage Dan Reeves' job as he was fired the following day and replaced in the final 3 games by Wade Phillips. Under Phillips the Falcons would lose their first game to the Indianapolis Colts, but would bounce back to win their final 2 games to finish their disappointing season with a 5-11 record finishing in last place in the NFC South.

2004: After a year of injury and frustration, Michael Vick was healthy from the start as the Falcons won their first 4 games under new Coach Jim Mora The Falcons would use the strong start to easily win the NFC South with an 11-5 record as Michael Vick who had ordinary passing numbers with 2,313 yards passing and 14 Touchdown Passes. However, rushing the ball Vick nearly had a record breaking year rushing for 902 yards the 3rd best for a QB in NFL history, falling 66 yards short of the record while seeing only limited action in the final 2 games of the year with the Falcons locked in with the second seed in the NFC Playoffs. The rushing of Vick led the Flacons offense, but it was the improved defense that led the NFL with 48 sacks that helped the Falcons go from first to last as they earned a first round playoff bye. Facing the St. Louis Rams in the Divisional Playoff Round the Falcons controlled the game early as Vick rushed for 119 yards while throwing 2 TD passes as the Falcons jumped out to a 28-17 lead at halftime and never looked back shutting own the Rams in the 2nd half on the way to a 47-17 win to advance to NFC Championship for the second time in franchise history. In the NFC Championship the Falcons faced a Philadelphia Eagles team starving for success playing in their 4th straight title game. On the road and facing an uphill battle the Falcons fell behind trailing 14-3 early in the 2nd Quarter. The Falcons would make it close scoring a TD just before halftime. However, after halftime the Falcons continued to struggle as Michael Vick was limited to 26 rushing yards and 136 passing yards as the Eagles won 27-10 to advance to Super Bowl XXXIX.

2005: The Falcons got off to a strong start as they beat the Philadelphia Eagles 14-10 during a Monday Night Opener, which saw tensions erupt even before kick off as the Falcons Kevin Mathis got in a fight with Jeremiah Trotter during pre-game warm ups. However a week later the Falcons would see an early stumble as they were upended on the road by the Seattle Seahawks 21-18. After winning their next 2 games the Falcons were forced to face the two time defending Champion New England Patriots without Michael Vick. The game would see saw back and forth with the Pats jumping out to a 14-0 lead, then the Falcons answering back to get with in 1 point at halftime only to see the Pats take a 28-13 lead in the 3rd Quarter. In the 4th Quarter the Falcons would comeback again to tie at 28-28 as back up QB Matt Schaub had a solid game. However, the Patriots behind kicker Adam Vinatieri would win the game with 31 second remaining. After the loss Vick would return and the Falcons would win 3 in a row to sit in first place at 6-2. However, a bad home loss to the Green Bay Packers would trigger a second half free fall that would see the Falcons plummet out of first place and out of the playoffs as the Falcons won just 2 of their final 8 games to finish in 3rd place with a disappointing 8-8 record, that continued a woeful Falcons tradition of not being able to put together back-to-back winning seasons. As Michael Vick struggled in the second half with just 2,412 yard passing and 15 TD passes with 13 interceptions. While Vick disappointed RB Warrick Dunn was resurgent rushing for a team high 1,416 yards.

2006: Coming off their disappointing finish the Falcons once again got off to a strong start with impressive wins over the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers to start the season 2-0. With a chance to get an early stranglehold on the NFC South the Falcons faced off with the New Orleans Saints, in an emotional return to the Louisiana Superdome. Unfortunately the Falcons got swept away in the emotion as the Saints gave the fans of New Orleans a much needed boost with a 23-3 win. The Falcons would return home and would rebound a week later as Morten Andersen hit five field goals in a 32-10 win over the Arizona Cardinals. The Falcons appeared to be on the way to 4-1 a week later as they jumper out to a 14-3 lead against the New York Giants, as Warrick Dunn set a team record with a 90-yard Touchdown run. However, the Falcons would stall the rest of the way as the Giants scored 24-unaswered points to win 27-14. Facing the defending Super Bowl Champions Pittsburgh Steelers a week later, Michael Vick would have one of the best passing days of his career with 4 TDs in a thrilling 41-38 win in overtime. There were even more thrills the following week as Vick added three more TD passes in a 29-27 win over the Cincinnati Bengals on the road. At 5-2 the Falcons appeared to be one of the top teams in the NFC, when suddenly they went into a tailspin losing to the lowly Detroit Lions 30-14, as Michael Vick struggled. Vick would struggle again the following week with three turnovers in a 17-13 loss to the lowly Cleveland Browns at the Georgia Dome. The Falcons would also lose their next two games to fall to 5-6. After falling behind 14-0 in the 1st Quarter the Falcons would end their 4-game losing streak with 24 unanswered points to beat the Washington Redskins on the road 24-14. A week later they would climb back above .500 with a 17-6 win over the Buccaneers on the road, as Demorio Williams' 54-yard fumble return for a TD capped a big day for the Falcons defense. Against the Dallas Cowboys a week later, Michael Vick would have another 4 TD passes, as Morten Andersen became the NFL's All-Time leader in points. However, the defense was shredded by Tony Romo as they fell to 7-7 win a 38-28 loss. With the elder Jim Mora calling Michael Vick a Coach killer and Falcons Coach Jim Mora the younger expressing a desire to coach his alma matter Washington, the Falcons barely showed up in their final two games losing both to finish the season 7-9. Mora would not get to coach the Huskies, but he would not get to coach the Falcons either as he was fired following the second straight disappointing season. To recommit themselves to franchise QB Michael Vick the Falcons hired Louisville Coach Bobby Petrino whose offensive season was thought to suit the Falcons running QB well. At the same time they traded away back up Matt Schaub, to alleviate some of the pressure coming from the fan base hoping the number two would get a chance.

2007: About a month after Matt Schaub was traded to the Houston Texans, came news of a police raid, at house owned by Michael Vick in Virginia. The raid turned up evidence of illegal dog fighting. Vick immediately denied any knowledge of what occurred on his property, but a police investigation would turn up something completely different. Michael Vick would be among four people named in a federal indictment for dog fighting, which included charges the Falcons star QB gave orders for the killing of dogs that didn't perform well in the fight. As the news of the indictment came out at the start or training camp, Vick was ordered to stay away, as Animal Rights Protesters threatened a boycott of the NFL if Vick was allowed to play. The bad news would only get worse for Michael Vick, as his three co-defendants all plead guilty, fingering Vick as running the operation. With the threat of more charges pending from a new Federal Grand Jury bringing a possible 20-year prison sentence if found guilty, Vick was forced himself to accept a plea deal on August 27th. The NFL would suspend Vick indefinitely, as he awaited a possible 12-18 month prison sentence beginning on December 10th. As the Falcons sought a return of Michael Vick's $20 million signing bonus the team had no choice but to turn to Joey Harrington as their new QB, as the Vick era which began with unprecedented optimism for the Falcons franchise came to a sad end, as the can't miss All-Pro QB faced time in prison, with any thought of a return to the NFL far on the back burner.

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