|2006 Atlanta Falcons season|
|Head Coach||Jim L. Mora|
|General Manager||Rich McKay|
|Home Field||Georgia Dome|
|Place||3rd NFC South|
|Playoff Finish||did not qualify|
|Previous Season||Next Season|
Falcons quarterback Michael Vick became the first quarterback in modern NFL history to rush for over 1000 yards, with 1,039. Running back Warrick Dunn rushed for 1,140 yards, making the 2006 Falcons only the fourth team since the AFL-NFL merger to have two one-thousand yard rushers. (The Falcons are, however, the first and only team to have multiple 1,000-yard rushers and finish the season with a losing record.)
In the 2006 NFL Draft, the Falcons used their first pick (originally from the Packers, Broncos, and the 49ers) on Virginia Tech DB Jimmy Williams. They then used their next pick on Mississippi St. RB Jerious Norwood. The rest of their picks included Syracuse OT Quinn Ojinnaka, Fresno St. WR Adam Jennings, and Georgia QB D.J. Shockley.
|2006 Atlanta Falcons final staff|
| Front Office
| Defensive Coaches
Special Teams Coaches
Strength and Conditioning
|Final score||Team record|
|1||September 10||at Carolina Panthers||W 20–6||1–0||Bank of America Stadium|| |
|2||September 17||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||W 14–3||2–0||Georgia Dome|| |
|3||September 25||at New Orleans Saints||L 3–23||2–1||Louisiana Superdome|| |
|4||October 1||Arizona Cardinals||W 32–10||3–1||Georgia Dome|| |
|6||October 15||New York Giants||L 14–27||3–2||Georgia Dome|| |
|7||October 22||Pittsburgh Steelers||W 41–38 (OT)||4–2||Georgia Dome|| |
|8||October 29||at Cincinnati Bengals||W 29–27||5–2||Paul Brown Stadium|| |
|9||November 5||at Detroit Lions||L 14–30||5–3||Ford Field|| |
|10||November 12||Cleveland Browns||L 13–17||5–4||Georgia Dome|| |
|11||November 19||at Baltimore Ravens||L 10–24||5–5||M&T Bank Stadium|| |
|12||November 26||New Orleans Saints||L 13–31||5–6||Georgia Dome|| |
|13||December 3||at Washington Redskins||W 24–14||6–6||FedEx Field|| |
|14||December 10||at Tampa Bay Buccaneers||W 17–6||7–6||Raymond James Stadium|| |
|15||December 16||Dallas Cowboys||L 28–38||7–7||Georgia Dome|| |
|16||December 24||Carolina Panthers||L 3–10||7–8||Georgia Dome|| |
|17||December 31||at Philadelphia Eagles||L 17–24||7–9||Lincoln Financial Field|| |
Week 1: at Carolina PanthersEdit
at Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina
The Falcons opened the regular season on the road against the Carolina Panthers on September 10. Even though the Panthers scored first, with opposing kicker John Kasay getting a 54-yard field goal, the Falcons responded with a field goal of their own, as kicker Michael Koenen booted a 25-yarder. In the second quarter, the Falcons unleashed their best, as Koenen got a 32-yard field goal and QB Michael Vick completed a 34-yard pass to WR Michael Jenkins. The Panthers tried to respond in the third quarter with Kasay kicking a 46-yard field goal, but Vick and the Falcons put the game away with a 1-yard TD pass to TE Alge Crumpler. Other than Vick having a good game, Warrick Dunn contributed with 132 rushing yards, while Atlanta's newest member, defensive end John Abraham, had 5 tackles, 2 sacks and two forced fumbles.
With the win, the Falcons started the season at 1-0.
Week 2: vs. Tampa Bay BuccaneersEdit
at the Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia
The Falcons entered their Week 2 home-opener against another NFC South rival, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The only Atlanta scores of the game came in the first quarter, with a 1-yard TD run on QB Michael Vick's QB sneak. The only other Falcons score came in the second quarter, with RB Fred McCrary getting a 4-yard TD run. The Buccaneers only score of the game came in the second quarter, with opposing kicker Matt Bryant kicking a 22-yard field goal. The ground game made short work of the Tampa Defense, with Michael Vick and Warrick Dunn combining for 261 rushing yards. Rookie running back Jerious Norwood added 45 more rushing yards to the Falcon's total. The Falcons set a new franchise record for rushing yards in a game with 306. On the other side of the ball, the Falcons defense shut down the Tampa offense, with DeAngelo Hall picking off two passes and Jason Webster picking off one. Also, they held Tampa Bay RB Carnell "Cadillac" Williams to just 37 yards on 15 carries. Special teams struggled as kicker Michael Koenen missed three field goals and had one blocked, making him 2/8 so far this season.
With the win, the Falcons improved to 2-0.
Week 3: at New Orleans SaintsEdit
at the Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
Following two-straight wins over two division opponents (the Bucs and the Panthers), the Falcons flew to the Louisiana Superdome to take on the New Orleans Saints (who were playing in the Superdome for the first time since Dec. '04) for an NFC South match-up on Monday Night. From the get-go the Falcons trailed, when they had a punt blocked by Saints safety Steve Gleason and DB Curtis Deloatch landed on the ball in the end zone for the touchdown. The Falcons would respond, as kicker Morten Andersen (who used to play for the Saints) kicked a 26-yard field goal. That would be their only score of the night, as WR Devery Henderson ran for an 11-yard TD on a reverse. Then, Saints kicker John Carney would provide the remaining points for the New Orleans, as he kicked two field goals in the second quarter (a 37-yarder and a 51-yarder) and one field goal in the third (a 20-yarder). The Falcons would fall to 2-1, as their offense got swapped, battered, and bruised. QB Michael Vick got sacked five times, while he and RB Warrick Dunn would only combine for 101 rushing yards.
Week 4: vs. Arizona CardinalsEdit
at the Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia
Coming into this game, the Falcons were (once again) the number one rushing team in the NFL. Against the hapless Arizona Cardinals, QB Mike Vick and RB Jerious Norwood both ran for over 100 yards each, making the Falcons the only NFL team in history to have a quarterback and running back run for 100+ yards in a game twice in a franchise's history. (Vick and RB Warrick Dunn both surpassed the 100-yard rushing mark in Week 2). Jerious Norwood also set a new franchise record for the longest run in team history with a 78 yard touchdown. They took on Kurt Warner and the Arizona Cardinals. Atlanta's victory was led by their defense and they ended Kurt Warner's undefeated streak at the Georgia Dome. Warner was promptly benched because of his sub-par play; Patrick Kerney's two sacks didn't help his cause either. Matt Leinart played in his first NFL game as a rookie. Even with Arizona's adjustments, the Falcons managed to rebound and held on to win 32-10. Atlanta would end into its Bye Week at 3-1.
Week 6: vs. New York GiantsEdit
A defensive battle early in the game, the first quarter went scoreless. The Giants got on the board first when former Falcons kicker Jay Feely connected on a 21 yard field goal midway through the second quarter. The Falcons responded when quarterback Michael Vick scored on a 22 yard rushing touchdown to take a 7-3 halftime lead. Falcons running back Warrick Dunn opened the second half in a big way, scoring on a franchise record 90 yard touchdown run. That was all the Falcons had left as the Giants proceeded to score 24 unanswered points to take control of the game when many of the Falcons' vaunted defensive starters had to leave the game due to injury. Quarterback Eli Manning hit tight end Jeremy Shockey twice for touchdowns in the second half, and backup running back Brandon Jacobs ran one in. Giants running back Tiki Barber rushed for a season high 185 yards, and Feely added another field goal.
With the loss, the Falcons fell to 3-2.
Week 7: vs. Pittsburgh SteelersEdit
at the Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia
The Falcons welcomed the defending Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers to town. The Falcons knew they would be in a battle but no one knew what to expect. In what would turnout to be the shootout of the year the Falcons beat the Steelers in overtime 41-38. The Falcons recovered a Steelers fumble after they punted to start the game. On the very next play Michael Vick hit Alge Crumpler for a 22-yard touchdown pass. It was the first of what would be a career-high four touchdown pass game for Vick. After Steelers' kicker Jeff Reed kicked a 28-yard the Steelers defense held tough and forced the Falcons to give up the ball again when Steeler's safety Troy Polamalu intercepted Vick. Steelers' quarterback Ben Roethlisberger hit, Georgia native and Steelers' receiver, Hines Ward for a 11-yard touchdown pass to give the Steelers a 10-7 lead after one quarter of play. On the next Steeler's drive Ben Roethlisberger found Heath Miller for a 1-yard touchdown pass to give the Steelers a 17-7 lead. The Steelers than fumbled on the first play of their following drive and the Falcons took over. Six plays later Vick found Crumpler again this time for a 3 yard touchdown pass to cut the Steelers lead to 17-14. The teams would exchange touchdowns and the Steelers lead at halftime 24-21. The first score of the 2nd half came after another Steelers fumble when Warrick Dunn scored on a 3-yard touchdown run to put the Falcons ahead for the 2nd time in the game 28-24. Steeler's backup quarterback Charlie Batch, who came in for an injured Roethlisberger, hit Ward for a 70-yard touchdown pass to give the Steelers a 31-28 lead. The Falcons answered right back when Vick found Crumpler for a 3rd time in the game with a 31-yard touchdown pass that put the Falcons ahead 35-31. After the Falcon's Morten Andersen kicked a 25 yard field goal to give the Falcons a 38-31 lead the Steelers came back again with a Batch 17-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 38 and force overtime. In overtime the Falcons won the coin toss. Falcons kicker Morten Andersen, after a 11 play 65 yard drive, put the capper on the game with a 32-yard field goal to give the Falcons an overtime victory over the defending Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers as the team improved to 4-2.
Week 8: at Cincinnati BengalsEdit
at Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio
In Week 8, the Falcons traveled to Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati to take on the Bengals. The star of the game would once again be QB Michael Vick. Vick had the 2nd best game of his career with a quarterback rating of 140.6. Vick passed for a season high 291 yards and 3 touchdowns finding Alge Crumpler, Michael Jenkins and Justin Griffith. The Falcons were down early to the Bengals 14-6, but were leading 29-20 with 7 minutes remaining. A late touchdown to the Bengals set up a thrilling finish to the match, with Atlanta's defence proving too tough for Cincinnati, sacking Bengal's QB Carson Palmer to seal the match as the team's comeback win improved the team to 5-2.
Week 9: at Detroit LionsEdit
at Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan
Coming off an impressive road performance against the Bengals, the Falcons flew to Ford Field for Week 9 as they took on the Detroit Lions. In the first quarter, Atlanta would trail early, as Lions kicker Jason Hanson would kick a 28-yard field goal, which would be followed up by a 35-yard TD run by RB Kevin Jones. The Falcons would score on QB Michael Vick's 19-yard TD pass to TE Alge Crumpler. In the second quarter, Detroit would get Jones scoring a touchdown on a 2-yard run, while Atlanta had RB Warrick Dunn getting a 1-yard TD run. In the third quarter, Hanson would get a 19-yard field goal for the Lions with the only score of the period. In the fourth quarter, the Falcons would fall as QB Jon Kitna completed a 60-yard TD pass to WR Roy Williams and Hanson would kick a 36-yard field goal to end the game in favor of Detroit. With the loss, the Falcons fell to 5-3.
Week 10: vs. Cleveland BrownsEdit
at the Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia
It wasn't any easier for the Falcons hosting the Browns. Another below .500 team and favored to win against the Browns and get back on track, the Falcons offense was stifled by the hard fighting defense of the Browns, limiting the Falcons offensive production. After a battle of field position in which the Browns generally won, they decided to go for it on a 4th and 1 inside the 5 yard line of Falcons territory. After getting the touchdown from their running back, the Browns scored again on a slant rout to their receiver once again burning the Falcons secondary...going up 14-0. The Falcons could only manage to score a field goal before the half, but not before a wacky play of laterals on the Falcons half failing to find the endzone. But they did manage to get a drive going scoring a touchdown to Michael Jenkins diving in the endzone, it seemed that the Falcons would make a stand. However the Falcons did not get a call for a safety, and on the next drive the Browns scored another field goal. With a chance to go for the winning touchdown on the two minute offense thanks to Roddy White's leaping catch, the Falcons threaten deep inside Browns territory. But soon a weary Michael Vick, unable to find open receivers tried to make the play for himself and scrambled, but he held the ball loosely like in the lions game. Without a guy hitting him, he fumbled the ball bouncing twice into his chest, but then popped loose to the Browns ending their chance for a victory as the team fell to 5-4.
Week 11: at Baltimore RavensEdit
at M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland
The Falcons traveled to M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore to take on the Ravens only to succumb to the first-place AFC North Ravens. In the start of the game Falcons jumped out a 7-0 lead. Michael Vick completed a 12-yard pass to WR Michael Jenkins for a touchdown, but the Ravens using the kick/punt returns by returner B.J. Sams, to pick up a total impressive 212 yards on six carries to dominate the second half. Michael Vick had six carries also, but could not gain sufficient yards against the sturdy Raven's defense. Michael Vick was sacked a total five times. The Falcons managed to get a field goal to make a score of 10-17 in second half, but RB Jamal Lewis ran for one more touchdown for 5 yards, which set the score 10-24. RB Jamal Lewis finished with a 91-yard, 3-TD performance, ending his 35-game multi-TD drought. Michael Vick had 6 carries for 54 yards and completed 11 out of 21 passes for 127 yards. Falcons drop to a disappointing record of 5-5 and has had their third consecutive loss this season.
Week 12: vs. New Orleans SaintsEdit
at the Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia
Trying to end a three-game skid, the Falcons returned home for an NFC South rematch with the New Orleans Saints. From the get-go, the Falcons trailed as in the first quarter, QB Drew Brees completed a 76-yard TD pass to WR Devery Henderson, while RB Deuce McAllister got a 1-yard TD run. Atlanta would respond with kicker Morten Andersen kicking a 22-yard field goal. In the second quarter, Andersen gave the Falcons a 30-yard field goal, yet New Orleans continued dominating with Brees completing an incredible 48-yard TD pass to WR Terrance Copper on the very last offensive play of the half. In the third quarter, RB Warrick Dunn gave Atlanta some room to operate, as he a 1-yard TD run for the only score of the half. However, in the fourth quarter, the Saints wrapped up the game with kicker John Carney getting a 25-yard field goal, while McAllister got a 9-yard TD run. After the game, as QB Michael Vick was leaving the field, he flicked off an insulting fan with both hands. He was fined $10,000 from the NFL and had to donate another $10,000 to charity. With their fourth-straight loss, the Falcons fell to 5-6.
Week 13: at Washington RedskinsEdit
at FedEx Field, Landover, Maryland
The Falcons visited FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland and defeated the Washington Redskins, ending a four-game losing skid. In the first quarter, the Redskins started strong with two touchdowns on their first two possessions. The first coming off an 8-yard TD run by RB Ladell Betts, and the second with QB Jason Campbell completing a 42-yard TD pass to WR Santana Moss. In the second quarter, the Falcons got on the board with a 34-yard field goal by kicker Morten Andersen and QB Michael Vick's 16-yard TD pass to TE Alge Crumpler. In the third quarter, Atlanta finally gained the lead when Vick connected with WR Michael Jenkins for a 22-yard TD pass. In the fourth quarter, the Falcons sealed the win with RB Jerious Norwood's 69-yard touchdown run. With the victory, Atlanta improved to 6-6.
Week 14: at Tampa Bay BuccaneersEdit
at Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida
The Falcons traveled to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on December 10 and squared off in an NFC South rematch against their division rival, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Their victory completed a season sweep. The first quarter started off with the Falcons punting away on their first possession. The Bucs then came back with a 10-play drive that resulted in a 42-yard field goal by kicker Matt Bryant. The second quarter saw Tampa Bay scoring another Bryant FG after a 12-play drive. In the third quarter, Atlanta scored their first points of the game off a 54-yard fumble return by OLB Demorrio Williams. The fumble occurred after Tampa QB Bruce Gradkowski lost the ball upon being sacked by Falcons DE John Abraham. Later in the same quarter, the Falcons went on to score another touchdown after a 21-yard run up the middle by FB Justin Griffith that completed a 9-play drive. Finally, in the fourth quarter, Atlanta sealed the game victory after picking up a field goal by kicker Morten Andersen that followed another Tampa Bay fumble by RB Carnell "Cadillac" Williams. Atlanta picked up its second win in a row, raising their record to 7-6.
Week 15: vs. Dallas CowboysEdit
at the Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia
Coming off their season-sweep in Tampa over the Buccaneers, the Falcons went home for a crucial Saturday night fight with the Dallas Cowboys. In the first quarter, Atlanta trailed early with Cowboys QB Tony Romo completing a 7-yard TD pass to WR Terrell Owens for the only score of the period. In the second quarter, Dallas' lead increased with OLB returning an interception 41 yards for a touchdown on the very first play of the period. Fortunately, the Falcons fought back with QB Michael Vick throwing a 1-yard TD pass to FB Justin Griffith and a 9-yard TD pass to WR Michael Jenkins. It was after the second touchdown that an NFL record was set. After kicker Morten Andersen's extra point, he became the league's all-time leading scorer with 2,435 points. His total after the game would be 2,437 points.
After Atlanta's second score of the game, the Cowboys jumped back into action, with Romo completing a 51-yard TD pass to Owens. Fortunately, the Falcons managed to tie the game going into halftime with Vick's 8-yard TD pass to WR Ashley Lelie. In the third quarter, Atlanta took the lead with Vick's 5-yard TD pass to Griffith. However, the joy was short-lived as Dallas took over for the rest of the game with kicker Martin Gramatica's 48-yard field goal and RB Marion Barber's 9-yard TD run. In the fourth quarter, the Cowboys wrapped up the game with Barber's 3-yard TD run. With the loss, the Falcons fell to 7-7.
Fortunately, not all was bad. Along with Andersen's record-setting night, Vick also managed to set a record for the most single-season rushing yards by a quarterback with 934 yards at game's end. Also, the entire Falcons rushing corps broke the single-season rushing record that they set two seasons ago (which was 2,672) with a new record of 2,697 yards.
Week 16: vs. Carolina PanthersEdit
at the Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia
Hoping to rebound from their Saturday night loss to the Cowboys and keep any playoff hope alive, the Falcons stayed at home for Christmas Eve as they played an NFC South grudge match with the Carolina Panthers. In the first quarter, Atlanta struck first with kicker Morten Andersen nailing a 40-yard field goal for the only score of the period. However, in the second quarter, the Panthers took the lead and won with QB Chris Weinke completing a 1-yard TD pass to TE Jeff King and kicker John Kasay completing a 42-yard field goal. Afterwards, defense ruled the game and the Falcons ended up on the losing end. QB Michael Vick would end up with a dismal 9/20 for 109 yards with No Touchdowns and 2 Interceptions, yet he would become the very first quarterback in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season.
The Bad News: Atlanta fell to 7-8 and also fell out of the playoff race with the New York Giants Week 17 Sat. night win over the Washington Redskins. The Good News: Carolina also failed to make the playoffs.
Week 17: at Philadelphia EaglesEdit
at Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Trying to end their season on a positive note, the Falcons flew to Lincoln Financial Field for a Week 17 intraconference fight with the playoff-bound Philadelphia Eagles. In the first quarter, the Eagles drew first blood as kicker David Akers nailed a 41-yard field goal. Afterwards, Atlanta took the lead with QB Michael Vick completing a 7-yard TD pass to RB Warrick Dunn. However, Philadelphia flew back into the lead with back-up QB A.J. Feeley completing a 14-yard TD pass to TE Matt Schobel. In the second quarter, the Falcons tied the game with kicker Morten Andersen nailing a 45-yard field goal. However, the Eagles responded with Feeley completing a 5-yard TD pass to WR Jason Avant. After a scoreless third quarter, Atlanta responded in the fourth quarter with back-up QB Matt Schaub completing a 9-yard TD pass to TE Alge Crumpler. However, Philadelphia wrapped up the game with Feeley completing a 89-yard touchdown pass to WR Hank Baskett. With the loss, the Falcons ended its season at 7-9.
In the aftermath, Jim Mora, Jr. ended up getting fired on New Year's Day, ending his three-year tenure as head coach.
- ↑ Pro-Football-Reference.com: For single seasons, from 1920 to 2011, played QB, sorted by descending Rushing Yds.
- ↑ Previous teams: 1972 Dolphins, 1976 Steelers, 1985 Browns
- ↑ as of 2011
- ↑ Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons - September 17th, 2006 | Pro-Football-Reference.com. Archived from the original on 2009-09-04. Retrieved on 2009-08-31.
- ↑ Atlanta Falcons Career Rushing Register | Pro-Football-Reference.com. Archived from the original on 2009-09-04. Retrieved on 2009-08-31.