In 1965, the NFL awarded Rankin Smith the Atlanta franchise, marking the end of the city’s quest to obtain a professional football team.
Owner Rankin Smith held a contest to decide the name of the franchise – won by a schoolteacher in Griffin, Georgia who suggested the “Falcons” name.
In 1971, the Falcons recorded their first winning season under head coach Norm Van Brocklin, going 7-6-1.
In 1998, the Falcons achieved their greatest season to date, winning the NFC West with a 14-2 record. They earned a trip to the 1999 Super Bowl, but lost to the Denver Broncos, 34-19.
In 2016, the Falcons went 11-5 and defeated the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game to advance to the Super Bowl, losing to the New England Patriots, 34-28.
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