In what arguably says more about the team’s history than its present, Falcons coach G.M. Mike Smith is one win away from tying the all-time franchise, in only the sixth game of his fifth season.
As explained by the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Smith likely won’t want any attention if/when he ties Dan Reeves with 49 victories with a triumph over the Raiders.
Giving Smith a game ball may not work. “Knowing Smitty, he probably wouldn’t be too happy if we did that,” center Todd McClure said. “He’s going to try to downplay it as much as possible. But I think it shows what this organization has done over the last four or five years. From all the way at the top, they are trying to get a winning culture around here. They brought in the right guy for that.”
They sure did. In 2007, the Falcons were as low as any pro sports organization can get, with Mike Vick indicted for dogfighting in July and then suspended indefinitely and coach Bobby Petrino pulling a Colts-out-of-Baltimore-style disappearing act late in the season.
Even though the process that resulted in the hiring of Smith and G.M. Thomas Dimitroff at times seemed clunky and disorganized, the Falcons have been one of the best regular-season teams in the league since 2008. And they’re definitely one of the best teams in 2012.