2020 Atlanta Falcons season
OwnerArthur Blank
General managerThomas Dimitroff (fired Oct. 11)
Head coachDan Quinn (fired Oct. 11; 0–5 record)
Raheem Morris (interim; 4–7 record)
Home fieldMercedes-Benz Stadium
Results
Record4–12
Division place4th NFC South
Playoff finishDid not qualify
Pro BowlersDT Grady Jarrett
K Younghoe Koo
AP All-ProsWR Calvin Ridley (2nd team)
Uniform
Atlanta falcons unif20.png

The 2020 season was the Atlanta Falcons' 55th season in the National Football League, their fourth playing their home games at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and their sixth and final season under head coach Dan Quinn.

For the first time since the 2003 season, the Falcons wore new uniforms, which were unveiled on April 8, 2020.[1]

The Falcons failed to improve on their 7–9 season from the previous year following a Week 14 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers and failed to make the playoffs for the third consecutive season the same week. They suffered their worst record since 2013, and finished last place in the NFC South for the first time since 2007. This was in part of the Falcons beginning the season 0–5, their first 0–5 start since 1997, which included two squandered fourth-quarter leads by more than 15 points in back-to-back weeks. Throughout the season, the Falcons squandered six total leads which led to losses and lost eight games with a deficit of 7 or less points.[2] On October 11, following a Week 5 loss to the Carolina Panthers, the Falcons fired head coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff.[3] The following day, the Falcons named defensive coordinator Raheem Morris interim head coach.[4] The next day their special teams coordinator Ben Kotwicka was fired.

Draft

Main article: 2020 NFL Draft

2020 Atlanta Falcons Draft
Round Selection Player Position College Notes
1 16 A. J. Terrell CB Clemson
2 47 Marlon Davidson DT Auburn
3 78 Matt Hennessy C Temple
4 119 Mykal Walker LB Fresno State
134 Jaylinn Hawkins S California from Baltimore
7 228 Sterling Hofrichter P Syracuse from Philadelphia

Trades

Undrafted free agents

Player Position College
Mikey Daniel RB South Dakota State
Jalen McCleskey WR Tulane
Juwan Green WR Albany
Chris Rowland WR Tennessee State
Jared Pinkney TE Vanderbilt
Caleb Repp TE Utah State
Evin Ksiezarczyk OL Buffalo
Hunter Atkinson T Georgia State
Austin Capps OL Arkansas
Scottie Dill T Memphis
Sailosi Latu DT San Jose State
Hinwa Allieu DE Nebraska-Kearney
Austin Edwards DE Ferris State
Bryson Young LB Oregon
Rayshawn Wilborn LB Ball State
Jordan Williams LB Baylor
Rojesterman Farris II CB Hawaii
Tyler Hall CB Wyoming
Delrick Abrams Jr. CB Colorado

Staff

2020 Atlanta Falcons staff
Front office
  • Owner/chairman – Arthur Blank
  • President/CEO – Rich McKay
  • General manager – Terry Fontenot
  • Director of pro personnel – Shepley Heard
  • Director of football operations – Nick Polk
  • Director of college scouting – Anthony Robinson
  • Director of player personnel – Steve Sabo
  • Vice president of player affairs – Kevin Winston
  • National scouts – Ruston Webster, Phil Emery, and Joel Collier

Head coaches

  • Head coach – Dan Quinn
  • Interim head coach/defensive coordinator – Raheem Morris
  • Assistant head coach/interim defensive coordinator/linebackers – Jeff Ulbrich
  • Assistant to the head coach – Steve Scarnecchia

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches

Special teams coaches

  • Special teams coordinator – Ben Kotwica
  • Assistant special teams – Mayur Chaudhari
  • Game management coordinator – Will Harriger

Strength and conditioning

  • Head strength and conditioning – Jesse Ackerman
  • Assistant strength – Brandon Ireland

Final roster

2020 Atlanta Falcons final roster
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists


Practice squad


Rookies in italics
52 active, 3 inactive, 15 practice squad (+1 exempt)

Preseason

The Falcons' preseason schedule was announced on May 7, but was later cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[5]

Week Date Opponent Venue Result
1 August 14 Miami Dolphins Mercedes-Benz Stadium Cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic
2 August 21 at Buffalo Bills New Era Field
3 August 28 Cincinnati Bengals Mercedes-Benz Stadium
4 September 3 at Jacksonville Jaguars TIAA Bank Field

Regular season

Schedule

The Falcons' 2020 schedule was announced on May 7.[5]

Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Recap
1 September 13 Seattle Seahawks L 25–38 0–1 Mercedes-Benz Stadium Recap
2 September 20 at Dallas Cowboys L 39–40 0–2 AT&T Stadium Recap
3 September 27 Chicago Bears L 26–30 0–3 Mercedes-Benz Stadium Recap
4 October 5 at Green Bay Packers L 16–30 0–4 Lambeau Field Recap
5 October 11 Carolina Panthers L 16–23 0–5 Mercedes-Benz Stadium Recap
6 October 18 at Minnesota Vikings W 40–23 1–5 U.S. Bank Stadium Recap
7 October 25 Detroit Lions L 22–23 1–6 Mercedes-Benz Stadium Recap
8 October 29 at Carolina Panthers W 25–17 2–6 Bank of America Stadium Recap
9 November 8 Denver Broncos W 34–27 3–6 Mercedes-Benz Stadium Recap
10 Bye
11 November 22 at New Orleans Saints L 9–24 3–7 Mercedes-Benz Superdome Recap
12 November 29 Las Vegas Raiders W 43–6 4–7 Mercedes-Benz Stadium Recap
13 December 6 New Orleans Saints L 16–21 4–8 Mercedes-Benz Stadium Recap
14 December 13 at Los Angeles Chargers L 17–20 4–9 SoFi Stadium Recap
15 December 20 Tampa Bay Buccaneers L 27–31 4–10 Mercedes-Benz Stadium Recap
16 December 27 at Kansas City Chiefs L 14–17 4–11 Arrowhead Stadium Recap
17 January 3 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers L 27–44 4–12 Raymond James Stadium Recap

Note: Intra-division opponents are in bold text.

Game summaries

Week 1: vs. Seattle Seahawks

Week 1: Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Seahawks 14 0 141038
Falcons 3 9 01325

at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia

Game information

With the loss, the Falcons failed to win their opening game for the third straight season and lost their first home opener since 2016.

Week 2: at Dallas Cowboys

Week 2: Atlanta Falcons at Dallas Cowboys – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Falcons 20 9 01039
Cowboys 0 10 141640

at AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas

Game information

The Falcons got off to a 29–10 lead in the first half, but the Cowboys outscored them 30–10 in the second half, including three straight scoring drives in the fourth quarter to win 40–39. In the waning moments of the game, with the Falcons clinging to a 39–37 lead, the Cowboys managed to recover an onside kick despite three Falcons being there to recover it; the Falcons then allowed a game-winning field goal. With this loss, the Atlanta Falcons dropped to 0–2 on the season, their first such start to a season since 2007. The team also dropped to 11–18 all-time against the Cowboys. The Falcons' 39 points scored were the second-most by a losing team all season (only the Browns scored more in a loss, with 42 points against the Ravens in Week 15).

The Falcons recorded three takeaways (all in the first half), but also gave up 572 yards to the Cowboys offense. Atlanta's loss marked the first time a team that scored 39+ points with no giveaways lost a game; teams were previously 440–0 in said situation.

Week 3: vs. Chicago Bears

Week 3: Chicago Bears at Atlanta Falcons – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Bears 3 7 02030
Falcons 6 10 10026

at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia

Game information

For the second consecutive week, the Falcons blew a 15+ point lead entering the fourth quarter. With yet another defeat, the Atlanta Falcons lost their first three games of the season for the first time since 2007. The Falcons became the first team in NFL history to lose at least two games in the same season after leading by at least 15 points entering the fourth quarter.

Week 4: at Green Bay Packers

Week 4: Atlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Falcons 0 3 6716
Packers 7 13 7330

at Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin

Game information

Week 5: vs. Carolina Panthers

Week 5: Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Panthers 3 17 0323
Falcons 7 0 3616

at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia

Game information

Week 6: at Minnesota Vikings

Week 6: Atlanta Falcons at Minnesota Vikings – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Falcons 10 10 101040
Vikings 0 0 71623

at U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Game information

Week 7: vs. Detroit Lions

Week 7: Detroit Lions at Atlanta Falcons – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Lions 7 3 31023
Falcons 0 14 0822

at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia

  • Date: October 25
  • Game time: 1:00 p.m. EDT
  • Game weather: Cloudy, 71 °F (22 °C) (retractable roof open)
  • Game attendance: 7,796
  • Referee: Land Clark
  • TV announcers (Fox): Chris Myers, Greg Jennings, Brock Huard and Jen Hale
  • Recap, Game Book
Game information

In the final seconds of the game, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford would throw a walk-off touchdown pass to tight end T. J. Hockenson to tie the game. The extra point was successfully converted, giving the Lions a 23–22 victory. Previously during the game, Falcons running back Todd Gurley had accidentally scored a touchdown on a play where the Falcons intended to down the ball at the Lions' 1, run out the clock and kick a field goal. With the loss, the Falcons fell to 1–6. The Falcons wore their red to black gradient uniforms for the first time ever in this game.

Week 8: at Carolina Panthers

Week 8: Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Falcons 6 10 3625
Panthers 7 7 3017

at Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina

Game information

With the win, the Atlanta Falcons got their only win in their division.

Week 9: vs. Denver Broncos

Week 9: Denver Broncos at Atlanta Falcons – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Broncos 0 3 32127
Falcons 10 10 7734

at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia

Game information

The Falcons wore white at home for the first time since 2003 against the Broncos. The Falcons would jump out to a 20–3 at halftime, but the Broncos would attempt a comeback, and outscored Falcons 24–14 in the second half, but the Falcons held on to get the win. With the win, the Falcons advanced to 3–6.

Week 11: at New Orleans Saints

Week 11: Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Falcons 3 6 009
Saints 3 7 7724

at Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana

  • Date: November 22
  • Game time: 1:00 p.m. EST/12:00 p.m. CST
  • Game weather: None (indoor stadium)
  • Game attendance: 6,000
  • Referee: Brad Allen
  • TV announcers (Fox): Kevin Burkhardt, Daryl Johnston and Pam Oliver
  • Recap, Game Book
Game information

Week 12: vs. Las Vegas Raiders

Week 12: Las Vegas Raiders at Atlanta Falcons – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Raiders 0 3 306
Falcons 6 10 141343

at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia

  • Date: November 29
  • Game time: 1:00 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: None (retractable roof closed)
  • Game attendance: 9,124
  • Referee: Land Clark
  • TV announcers (CBS): Kevin Harlan, Trent Green and Melanie Collins
  • Recap, Game Book
Game information

Week 13: vs. New Orleans Saints

Week 13: New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Saints 7 7 7021
Falcons 3 6 0716

at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia

  • Date: December 6
  • Game time: 1:00 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: None (retractable roof closed)
  • Game attendance: 8,713
  • Referee: Adrian Hill
  • TV announcers (Fox): Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma and Shannon Spake
  • Recap, Game Book
Game information

Week 14: at Los Angeles Chargers

Week 14: Atlanta Falcons at Los Angeles Chargers – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Falcons 7 10 0017
Chargers 7 3 7320

at SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, California

  • Date: December 13
  • Game time: 4:25 p.m. EST/1:25 p.m. PST
  • Game weather: None (indoor stadium)
  • Game attendance: 0
  • Referee: Tony Corrente
  • TV announcers (Fox): Joe Davis, Brock Huard, Jenny Taft
  • Recap, Game Book
Game information

With the loss to a game-winning field goal, the Falcons were eliminated from playoff contention for the third straight season and failed to achieve a winning season.

Week 15: vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Week 15: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Buccaneers 0 0 211031
Falcons 7 10 7327

at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia

  • Date: December 20
  • Game time: 1:00 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: None (retractable roof closed)
  • Game attendance: 10,703
  • Referee: Brad Rogers
  • TV announcers (Fox): Kevin Burkhardt, Daryl Johnston and Pam Oliver
  • Recap, Game Book
Game information

The Falcons jumped out to a 17–0 lead by halftime, but, in a turn of events similar to Super Bowl LI, Atlanta allowed Tom Brady and the Buccaneers to outscore the Falcons 31–10 in the second half en route to a Tampa Bay victory.

Week 16: at Kansas City Chiefs

Week 16: Atlanta Falcons at Kansas City Chiefs – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Falcons 0 7 0714
Chiefs 0 7 01017

at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri

  • Date: December 27
  • Game time: 1:00 p.m. EST/12:00 p.m. CST
  • Game weather: 49 °F (9 °C)
  • Game attendance: 13,470
  • Referee: Craig Wrolstad
  • TV announcers (Fox): Kevin Burkhardt, Daryl Johnston and Pam Oliver
  • Recap, Game Book
Game information

Late in the game, the Falcons were in position to tie the game against the defending Super Bowl champions, but Younghoe Koo missed a 39-yard field goal which was partially deflected. With this loss, the Falcons fell to 4-11.

Week 17: at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Week 17: Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Falcons 3 7 10727
Buccaneers 10 13 02144

at Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida

  • Date: January 3, 2021
  • Game time: 1:00 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: Cloudy, 65 °F (18 °C)
  • Game attendance: 16,009
  • Referee: Alex Kemp
  • TV announcers (Fox): Chris Myers, Greg Jennings and Jen Hale
  • Recap, Game Book
Game information

With the loss, the Falcons finished last place in the NFC South for the first time since 2007.

Standings

Division

NFC South
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
(2) New Orleans Saints 12 4 0 .750 6–0 10–2 482 337 W2
(5) Tampa Bay Buccaneers 11 5 0 .688 4–2 8–4 492 355 W4
Carolina Panthers 5 11 0 .313 1–5 4–8 350 402 L1
Atlanta Falcons 4 12 0 .250 1–5 2–10 396 414 L5

Conference

# Team Division W L T PCT DIV CONF SOS SOV STK
Division leaders
1 Green Bay Packers North 13 3 0 .813 5–1 10–2 .428 .387 W6
2[a] New Orleans Saints South 12 4 0 .750 6–0 10–2 .459 .406 W2
3[a] Seattle Seahawks West 12 4 0 .750 4–2 9–3 .447 .404 W4
4 Washington Football Team East 7 9 0 .438 4–2 5–7 .459 .388 W1
Wild cards
5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers South 11 5 0 .688 4–2 8–4 .488 .392 W4
6 Los Angeles Rams West 10 6 0 .625 3–3 9–3 .494 .484 W1
7[b] Chicago Bears North 8 8 0 .500 2–4 6–6 .488 .336 L1
Did not qualify for the postseason
8[b] Arizona Cardinals West 8 8 0 .500 2–4 6–6 .475 .441 L2
9 Minnesota Vikings North 7 9 0 .438 4–2 5–7 .504 .366 W1
10[c] San Francisco 49ers West 6 10 0 .375 3–3 4–8 .549 .448 L1
11[c][d] New York Giants East 6 10 0 .375 4–2 5–7 .502 .427 W1
12[d] Dallas Cowboys East 6 10 0 .375 2–4 5–7 .471 .333 L1
13[e] Carolina Panthers South 5 11 0 .313 1–5 4–8 .531 .388 L1
14[e] Detroit Lions North 5 11 0 .313 1–5 4–8 .508 .350 L4
15 Philadelphia Eagles East 4 11 1 .281 2–4 4–8 .537 .469 L3
16 Atlanta Falcons South 4 12 0 .250 1–5 2–10 .551 .391 L5
Tiebreakers[f]
  1. ^ a b New Orleans finished ahead of Seattle based on conference record.
  2. ^ a b Chicago finished and clinched the 7th and final playoff spot ahead of Arizona based on better win percentage in common games (against Detroit, the NY Giants, Carolina, and the LA Rams, Chicago finished 3–2, while Arizona finished 1–4).
  3. ^ a b San Francisco finished ahead of the NY Giants based on head-to-head victory. Division tie break was initially used to eliminate Dallas (see below).
  4. ^ a b NY Giants won tiebreaker over Dallas based on division record.
  5. ^ a b Carolina finished ahead of Detroit based on head-to-head victory.
  6. ^ When breaking ties for three or more teams under the NFL's rules, they are first broken within divisions, then comparing only the highest ranked remaining team from each division.

References

  1. ^ "Official Website of the Atlanta Falcons Football Club". atlantafalcons.com. Retrieved 2020-04-09.
  2. ^ "Falcons fans fume after team blows big lead in loss for second straight game". Associated Press. Associated Press. 2020-09-27. Retrieved 2020-10-11.
  3. ^ "Atlanta Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff, coach Dan Quinn relieved of their duties". atlantafalcons.com. Retrieved October 11, 2020.
  4. ^ "Atlanta Falcons name Raheem Morris interim head coach". AtlantaFalcons.com. Atlanta Falcons. October 12, 2020.
  5. ^ a b Shook, Nick (July 27, 2020). "Roger Goodell writes letter to NFL fans as training camps start across U.S." NFL. Retrieved July 27, 2020.