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FLOWERY BRANCH: Championship hopeful Falcons are down to the wire

FLOWERY BRANCH: Championship hopeful Falcons are down to the wire

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - After squandering another chance to take control of their playoff fate, the Atlanta Falcons are beginning to realize this is the way it's going to be.

In all likelihood, the postseason race will come down to the final week.

PHOTO GALLERY: Falcons fall to Texans, 17-10

The Falcons (7-5) are right in the thick of the wild-card race, tied with Detroit and Chicago, but their hopes of repeating as NFC South champions are beginning to fade. The first-place New Orleans Saints are now two games in front with only four weeks remaining, extending their lead with a win Sunday while Atlanta was taking a bitter loss in Houston.

The Texans knocked off the Falcons 17-10 with third-string quarterback T.J. Yates.

Atlanta takes on Cam Newton and the Panthers at Carolina on Sunday.

FLOWERY BRANCH: Atlanta CBs Franks, Owens ready for big challenge

FLOWERY BRANCH: Atlanta CBs Franks, Owens ready for big challenge

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - Brent Grimes' right knee injury is giving Dominique Franks and Christopher Owens their next big chance at cornerback for the Atlanta Falcons.

Grimes, an alternate Pro Bowl pick in 2010, had minor surgery Thursday that will sideline him for two to four weeks, but Franks and Owens say they're ready to handle a bigger role in his absence.

The Falcons (7-4) have yet to decide if they will start Franks or Owens on the left side Sunday at Houston (8-3), but either way, both players will take plenty of snaps.

Atlanta uses a nickel scheme about 55 percent of the time, so a lot will be asked of Franks, a 2010 fifth-round draft pick with no career starts, and Owens, a third-year Atlanta veteran with 10 career starts.

Traffic impacted this Sunday due to Atlanta Marathon

Traffic impacted this Sunday due to Atlanta Marathon

 

Expect road closures on Sunday as runners discover Atlanta one mile at a time at the Atlanta Marathon and Marathon Relay on Sunday, October 30, 2011. The 26.2 mile urban course starts and finishes at Atlantic Station taking participants on a tour of Atlanta past well-known Atlanta sites and neighborhoods such as Georgia Tech, Centennial Olympic Park, Georgia Aquarium, Turner Field, Grant Park, Oakland Cemetery, Martin Luther King Center, Piedmont Park, Buckhead and the famous Peachtree Road.

Below are some important resources for spectators and residents / businesses located along the course.

FLOWERY BRANCH: Robinson's fine for helmet hit reduced to $25K

FLOWERY BRANCH: Robinson's fine for helmet hit reduced to $25K

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - Dunta Robinson's agent says the NFL has reduced to $25,000 the fine it levied on the Falcons' cornerback for a hit on Philadelphia's Jeremy Maclin last month.

Jason Chayut on Monday said that Robinson's original fine of $40,000 for leading with his helmet while crashing into Maclin was reduced following an appeal. The play occurred in the Falcons' 35-31 win over the Eagles on Sept. 18.

Chayut says the appeal was filed because Robinson did not believe the fine "was appropriate."

It is the second straight year Robinson has had a fine reduced. He was ordered to pay $50,000 for his hit on Philadelphia's DeSean Jackson last season that left both players with concussions. That fine also was reduced to $25,000.

Falcons Cheerleaders Swimsuit Calendar Party

 

The Atlanta Falcons cheerleaders introduce their new swimsuit calendar at private roof-top party at Ventanas.

 

FLOWERY BRANCH: Falcons to wear 'throwback' jerseys Sunday

FLOWERY BRANCH: Falcons to wear 'throwback' jerseys Sunday

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. - The Atlanta Falcons will don throwback jerseys for Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers, the team said Tuesday.

The uniforms will feature black jerseys, white pants and a red helmet, all adorned with the Falcons old logo.

PHOTO GALLERY: Falcons lose again to Packers 14-25

Atlanta Falcons blogger Jay Adams posted pictures of the equipment team preparing the uniforms on his blog.

The team will wear their throwback jerseys again when they play the New Orleans Saints on November 13.

FLOWERY BRANCH: Falcons trying to find groove with Packers next

FLOWERY BRANCH: Falcons trying to find groove with Packers next

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - The Atlanta Falcons are still trying to find their groove.

PHOTOS: Falcons hold off Seahawks
MORE: Sunday Night Football on NBC

With the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers coming to town, it's about time.

WATCH: Green Bay Packers vs. Atlanta Falcons - Sunday, 8 p.m. on 11Alive

The Falcons (2-2) are coming off another uneven performance against struggling Seattle, racing out to a big lead on the Seahawks, then barely hanging on for a 30-28 victory.

In many ways, the win typified the first quarter of the season for Atlanta, which was projected as a Super Bowl contender but had yet to put together a complete game.