The Falcons ripped off four wins to close out the season and by doing so, earned a first-round bye in the playoffs.
Atlanta is among the league’s hottest entering the playoffs, garnering a significant amount of attention in the media.
For most, the conversation almost always starts with Atlanta's offense. Matt Ryan!(/team/roster/matt-ryan/7ba8774b-4091-4142-a4c1-1ae868594c2a/ "Matt Ryan") and Co. have produced at a historic level all year, and by doing so, some experts have put this offense in the conversation as one of the league's all-time best. The Falcons scored 540 points this season, tied for 8th best in NFL history.
"That's it—all other teams pale in comparison to the kinds of numbers Matt Ryan and Co. have produced this year. We're watching NFL history." – Charles Simms of Bleacher Report on the Falcons offense
"Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons offense is not only historically good, but might be the best offense I've ever seen." – Peter Schrager on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football
And while the Falcons offense sparks most of these conversations, Atlanta's improved defensive play over the past month has also turned heads.
The emergence of Vic Beasley, the NFL's 2016 sack leader and coupled with the contributions of potential Defensive Rookie of the Year candidates Keanu Neal and Deion Jones, could provide the sense of optimism for those hesitant to go all-in with the Falcons at this point.
"With a swarming defense that complements the league's most explosive offense, the Falcons have a combination that everyone in the playoffs should begin to fear." – Oliver Connolly of All 22
"So the Falcons have the best offense in the NFL and a defense with a rapidly improving corps of young stars." -- Mike Tanier , NFL National Lead Writer for Bleacher Report
Sports Illustrated's Andy Benoit believes the play of Ryan and Atlanta’s offense will lead this team to Houston, for a shootout with the AFC's top quarterback, Tom Brady.
"New England and Atlanta are the NFL's most dangerous teams for the same reason: Each is led by the best quarterback in his respective conference, and each QB oversees his conference's best-schemed offense." – Andy Benoit
Former Super Bowl winning coach and current analyst, Tony Dungy believes when the Falcons offense is at full-strength, there's not a better offense in football.
NFL Network and Fox Spots analyst, Peter Schrager, covered the Falcons for two weeks straight believes this team is peaking at the right time.
There's no denying that there's something special brewing with the Falcons, and people outisde of Atlanta are staking to take note.