1977 Atlanta Falcons season

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1977 Atlanta Falcons season
Head coach Leeman Bennett
General manager Eddie LeBaron
Owner Rankin M. Smith, Sr.
Home field Fulton County Stadium
Results
Record 7–7
Division place 2nd NFC West
Playoff finish did not qualify
Timeline
Previous season Next season
< 1976 1978 >

The 1977 Atlanta Falcons season was the team's 12th year in the National Football League. The team finished the season 7–7, and did not make the NFL's postseason.

Although the Falcons' offense struggled, the defense was dominant.[1] The Falcons' 129 points allowed not only led the league, but established an all-time NFL record for fewest points allowed in a 14-game NFL season.[2] Atlanta's 3,242 total yards allowed were second-fewest in the league,[3] and the Falcons' 1,384 passing yards allowed was by far the best in the NFL in 1977.[4]

Football analytics site Cold Hard Football Facts call the 1977 Falcons "the stingiest defense of the Super Bowl Era. In fact, it was the stingiest defense since World War II. Atlanta surrendered just 9.2 PPG, or a total of 129 points in the 14-game season. For a little perspective: the 2012 Bills gave up 131 points in their first four games. That unit was truly a no-name defense at its finest: despite its status as the stingiest defense since World War II, the 1977 Falcons sent only two defenders to the Pro Bowl: cornerback Rolland Lawrence and defensive end Claude Humphrey. [...] It was truly a one-hit wonder of a unit: the 1976 Falcons possessed one of the worst defenses in the league (22.3 PPG); and it largely fell apart in 1978 (18.1 PPG). The most famous personality on the 1977 Falcons was not a player but defensive assistant Jerry Glanville, who installed in a swarming style of play in Atlanta remembered as the "Grits Blitz" defense."[5]

Offseason[edit]

NFL Draft[edit]

Main article: 1977 NFL Draft
1977 Atlanta Falcons draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
1 6 Warren Bryant  Offensive tackle Kentucky
      Made roster    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career

[6]

Personnel[edit]

Staff[edit]

1977 Atlanta Falcons staff
Front office

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches



Regular season[edit]

Schedule[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 18, 1977 Los Angeles Rams W 17–6
55,956
2 September 25, 1977 at Washington Redskins L 10–6
55,031
3 October 2, 1977 New York Giants W 17–3
46,374
4 October 9, 1977 at San Francisco 49ers W 7–0
38,009
5 October 16, 1977 at Buffalo Bills L 3–0
27,348
6 October 23, 1977 at Chicago Bears W 16–10
49,407
7 October 30, 1977 Minnesota Vikings L 14–7
59,257
8 November 6, 1977 San Francisco 49ers L 10–3
46,577
9 November 13, 1977 Detroit Lions W 17–6
47,461
10 November 20, 1977 at New Orleans Saints L 21–20
43,135
11 November 27, 1977 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 17–0
43,592
12 December 4, 1977 New England Patriots L 16–10
57,911
13 December 11, 1977 at Los Angeles Rams L 23–7
52,574
14 December 18, 1977 New Orleans Saints W 35–7
36,895

Standings[edit]

NFC West
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA
Los Angeles Rams(2) 10 4 0 .714 4–2 8–4 302 146
Atlanta Falcons 7 7 0 .500 3–3 7–5 179 129
San Francisco 49ers 5 9 0 .357 3–3 5–7 220 260
New Orleans Saints 3 11 0 .214 2–4 3–9 232 336

Awards and records[edit]

Milestones[edit]

  • Jerry Glanville's "Grits Blitz" defense set the NFL record for fewest points allowed per game since the AFL-NFL Merger (129 points on a 14-game schedule, an average of 9 points per game).

References[edit]

External links[edit]