Falcons fly back into playoffs, but with new identity


Check out the top moments that helped define the outcomes of Sunday’s NFL matchups.

ATLANTA – Mention “last year” in the Atlanta Falcons domain and it’s sure to elicit a rebuke in return.

But somebody had to do it.

“I don’t think about last year,” star receiver Julio Jones scoffed. “I don’t want to talk about last year.”

You’d be sick of last year, too, if you were a Falcon — New Year’s Eve or not – and people are still prone to bring up the past and a season that ended with the biggest blown lead in Super Bowl history.

Yet by some measure, last season says something about this campaign for the Falcons, who clinched their return ticket to the playoffs with a gritty, 22-10 victory against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.

The Falcons (10-6) open the wild-card round on Saturday against the upstart Los Angeles Rams and strikingly are the only team on the NFC side of the playoffs to make it back to the postseason.

Think about it: The Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks, Detroit Lions and New York Giants…

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