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Top 50 Falcons: No. 22, Chris Chandler

Chris Chandler, Atlanta Falcons
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Top 50 Falcons: No. 22, Chris Chandler
Chris Chandler, Atlanta Falcons

Quarterback Chris Chandler ranks fourth all-time in franchise history with 13,268 yards passing. (Getty Images)

The Journal-Constitution is counting down the Top 50 players in Falcons history during the franchise’s 50th anniversary season. No. 22 is quarterback Chris Chandler.

Years played for Falcons: As a 32-year-old journeyman, Chris Chandler finally found a home in from 1997 to 2001, a period that would define his career. He earned his only two Pro Bowl selections of his career in his first two seasons with the Falcons. During that stretch he compiled a 20-8 record as the starting quarterback and threw for 5,846 yards, 45 touchdowns and 19 interceptions. Over his 17 seasons, played with eight different teams before retiring after the 2004 season in which he spent the year with the St. Louis Rams.

No.: 12

Falcons' Morten Andersen (left) and Chris Chandler celebrate on the podium after the Falcons beat the Minnesota Vikings 30-27 to win the NFC Championship on Sunday, Jan. 17, 1999, in Minneapolis.  (John Bazemore/AP)

Falcons’ Morten Andersen (left) and Chris Chandler celebrate on the podium after the Falcons beat the Minnesota Vikings 30-27 to win the NFC Championship on Sunday, Jan. 17, 1999, in Minneapolis. (John Bazemore/AP)

His impact on the team: The one distinction that no other player in franchise history can say they hold is that Chris Chandler quarterbacked the Falcons to the Super Bowl and started under center in the biggest game of the year. During the magical 1998 season in which the Falcons finished 14-2, threw for a career-high 3,154 yards and 25 touchdowns, numbers he would never come close to duplicating. Over his five years in Atlanta, he recorded a 34-33 record and ranks fourth all-time in franchise history with 13,268 yards passing and tied third in touchdowns with 87. As well as he played, especially in 1998, he saved one of his worst games for last, as he threw for 219 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions in Super Bowl XXXIII.

On the Super Bowl: “You just feel awful when you lose the Super Bowl. I feel really bad and I just want to move on. It wasn’t a real lucky night for us tonight.”

On his first interception in the big game: “I would like to guess what would have happened if we didn’t have that tipped ball. I’m not making excuses, things just happen. I can sit here and try to explain what happened, but it wouldn’t mean anything. To explain what happened is not an important thing to me.”

Where he is now: Chandler, 50, lives in San Diego and was married to Diane Brodie, daughter of former 49ers quarterback John Brodie, before divorcing in 2011. Together, they have three daughters: Ryann, Skye and Brynn. Chris is now remarried to Chrystal Okada. He is an avid golfer and regarded as one of the best among former athletes and celebrities.

The countdown to the Top 50 players in Falcons history runs through the end of the season.

Top 50 Falcons Countdown

50: Chuck Smith
49: Michael Haynes
48: Jonathan Babineaux
47: John Zook
46: Ken Reaves
45: Lynn Cain
44: Justin Blalock
43: Bobby Butler
42: Tim Mazzetti
41: Buddy Curry
40: Scott Case
39: Jeff Merrow
38: Elbert Shelley
37: Matt Bryant
36: Alge Crumpler
35: Michael Turner
34: Ray Buchanan
33: Chris Hinton
32: Terance Mathis
31: Devin Hester
30: Don Smith
29: Greg Brezina
28: Chris Miller
27: John James
26: Bob Whitfield
25: Rolland Lawrence
24: Alfred Jenkins
23: Billy Johnson
22: Chris Chandler


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