1973 Atlanta Falcons season

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1973 Atlanta Falcons season
Head coach Norm Van Brocklin
General manager Norm Van Brocklin
Owner Rankin M. Smith, Sr.
Home field Atlanta Stadium
Results
Record 9–5
Division place 2nd NFC West
Playoff finish did not qualify
Timeline
Previous season Next season
< 1972 1974 >

The 1973 Atlanta Falcons season was the franchise's eighth year in the National Football League (NFL). The team improved on their previous season’s output of 7–7 and achieved their best record until 1980, but failed to reach a maiden playoff berth[1] due to an unexpected home loss to a Cardinals team that had won only one of its last ten and was playing an unknown quarterback called Gary Keithley. Keithley completed only ten of thirty-two passes, but the Cardinals’ rushing game was completely unexpected and along with six field goals from Jim Bakken destroyed the Falcons after they had led 10-nil.[2]

A highlight for the 1973 Falcons was defeating the Vikings when that team was 9–0 and looking at emulatiing the previous season‘s Dolphinsperfect season.[3] Despite the Falcons’ success between 2008 and 2012, this remains the sole time the Falcons have defeated the last unbeaten NFL team. Only the Green Bay Packers (not since 1968), the Cleveland Browns (not since 1966) and the Detroit Lions (not since spoiling the 1962 Packers’ perfect season) have gone longer without beating the final undefeated NFL team.[3][4]

Personnel[edit]

Staff[edit]

1973 Atlanta Falcons staff
Front office

Head coaches

  • Head Coach – Norm Van Brocklin

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches



Schedule[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 16, 1973 at New Orleans Saints W 62–7
66,428
2 September 23, 1973 at Los Angeles Rams L 0–31
61,197
3 October 1, 1973 at Detroit Lions L 6–31
45,599
4 October 7, 1973 San Francisco 49ers L 9–13
51,107
5 October 14, 1973 Chicago Bears W 46–6
58,850
6 October 21, 1973 at San Diego Chargers W 41–0
41,527
7 October 28, 1973 at San Francisco 49ers W 17–3
56,825
8 November 4, 1973 Los Angeles Rams W 15–13
55,837
9 November 11, 1973 at Philadelphia Eagles W 44–27
63,114
10 November 19, 1973 Minnesota Vikings W 20–14
56,519
11 November 25, 1973 at New York Jets W 28–20
47,283
12 December 2, 1973 Buffalo Bills L 6–17
54,607
13 December 9, 1973 St. Louis Cardinals L 10–32
48,030
14 December 16, 1973 New Orleans Saints W 14–10
34,147

Standings[edit]

NFC West
W L T PCT PF PA STK
Los Angeles Rams 12 2 0 .857 388 178 W-6
Atlanta Falcons 9 5 0 .643 318 224 W-1
New Orleans Saints 5 9 0 .357 163 312 L-1
San Francisco 49ers 5 9 0 .357 262 319 L-2

References[edit]

  1. ^ 1973 Atlanta Falcons
  2. ^ “Bakken, Cardinals deflate Falcons’ Playoff Bubble”; in Toledo Blade; December 10, 1973; p. 21
  3. ^ a b Last Unbeaten NFL team in each season
  4. ^ Expansion franchises the Seattle Seahawks, Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans have never defeated the final unbeaten team in their history

External links[edit]