The Atlanta Falcons are a professional American football team based in Atlanta. The Falcons compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league’s National Football Conference (NFC) South division.
Some local businessmen (Cox Broadcasting) worked out a deal and were awarded an AFL franchise on June 8th, contingent upon securing exclusive stadium rights from the city’s government.
The AFL’s interest in Atlanta drove NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle into action, and he flew to Atlanta on the next plane to prevent the rival league from claiming the city.
By June 30, the city had decided on Rankin Smith and the NFL after being forced to choose between the two leagues by him. In June 1965, the AFL planned to add two more clubs in Atlanta and Philadelphia in 1966.
In 1966, the Miami Dolphins were born, and in 1968, the Cincinnati Bengals were born. Due to the battle between the NFL and the AFL for Atlanta, the first franchise was added a year earlier than intended in 1966.
Because there were an odd number of teams (15), each team played 14 games over a period of 15 weeks, resulting in one team sitting out each week (bye) (similar to 1960: 12 games over 13 weeks).
The New Orleans Saints, the NFL’s second expansion team, officially joined the league in 1967 as the league’s 16 franchise.
Who is the starting running back for the Atlanta Falcons in 2021?
Marcus Mariota is an American football quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons. The Tennessee Titans selected him in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft. In college, Mariota played quarterback for the Oregon Ducks from 2012 to 2014, when he was the team’s starting quarterback.
Mariota won the Heisman Trophy as a junior in 2014, becoming the first player from the University of Oregon and the first athlete from Hawaii to do so.
Mariota led the Titans to three consecutive winning seasons, the most since the team was known as the Houston Oilers, beginning with his second season as the starting quarterback in 2013.
Tannehill replaced him as starting quarterback mid-way through the 2019 season after the organization had traded for him earlier that year. Before signing with the Atlanta Falcons in 2022, Mariota spent one season with the Las Vegas Raiders as the backup to Derek Carr.