There are a lot of reasons head coach Mike Smith is 26-6 at home during his tenure with the Falcons. One of them is the home crowd.
Inside the Georgia Dome, the home-field advantage can be a big advantage, especially against a tough opponent, kind of like the one the Falcons will face on Monday night in the Denver Broncos.
All week the Falcons players have discussed their excitement for playing on the national stage, on Monday night where the entire world of football's eyes will be trained. There's an added level of excitement to that spotlight and the players aren't the only ones that get caught up in the excitement.
Falcons fans will play a critical role in the home opener on Monday. The players anticipate a loud home crowd to help give them an added boost against Peyton Manning and the challenge of the Broncos.
"I'm pretty sure the Dome will be rocking and fans will be excited for the first home game," center Todd McClure said. "It's going to be a lot of fun on Monday night."
Outside of the playoffs, it doesn't get any bigger than what the Falcons will face on Monday, especially this early in the season.
The home crowd's noise level can make the operation of Manning's no-huddle offense a little more challenging. With a loud Georgia Dome, communication will be challenging. Head coach Mike Smith also anticipates a crowd that is ready to respond and help provide an advantage and potentially help create a few false starts by Denver.
"Our home crowd has been a big part of the success that we've had," Smith said. "It's really nice to go in there and know that we're probably good for one or two procedural penalties a game and hopefully it's in the most crucial time of the ball game. Our fans are very smart in terms of knowing when to cheer and when not to cheer. It's going to be an electric atmosphere. I think our guys are excited about it and we've got to make sure we stay on an even keel. There's going to be ebbs and flows of the football game and we've got to be prepared to handle the different situations that arise."