5 things to know about the Falcons on Friday



FLOWERY BRANCH — The Falcons (7-4) are set to face the Kansas City Chiefs (8-3) at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Georgia Dome.

Here are five things to know about the Falcons on Friday:

1. INSIDE INFORMATION: Falcons assistant general manager Scott Pioli was Kansas City’s general manager from 2009 to 2012.

Some of his draft picks include safety Eric Berry, linebacker Justin Houston and defensive tackle Dontari Poe.

“Certainly some of the guys we talked about with Scott and has background on them and knows them,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said.  “Some of the ones that he selected have turned out to be terrific guys. Dontari Poe, Eric Berry, and Justin Houston just to name a few. It’s a good group and it’s an organization and team we’ve got a lot of respect for.”

2. PASS RUSH: Last season, the Atlanta Falcons could not pressure the quarterback. The Falcons (7-4) had only 19 sacks in 2015, the lowest mark in the league since 2009. So in free agency, Atlanta signed one of the most prolific pass rushers in NFL history: defensive end Dwight Freeney. Read how he’s helped the franchise.

3. HOSPITAL CHRISTMAS CAROLS: In celebration of the holiday season, Falcons players and staff will visit Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite to sing holiday carols for patients and their families from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on Tuesday. A Falcons players and staff, Santa Claus and a guitarist will go room-to-room at the hospital to sing holiday carols and sign autographs to patients.

4. SERIES RECORD: This will be the 9th regular-season meeting. The Chiefs lead the series 5-3. The Falcons have won the last two meetings.

5. TALE OF THE TAPE. 2016 Regular Season Statistics Rankings.

Falcons                                             Chiefs
32.5 (1)         Points/Game                              22.9 (16)
411.5 (3)       Total Offense                             328.3 (27)
108.4 (15)     Net Rushing Yards/Game       96.5 (23)
303.1 (3)      Net Passing Yards/Game         231.7 (23)
29:36 (21)    Possession Average                    29:33 (22)
27.5 (29)      Opponent Points/Game             19.5 (8)
381.0 (27)    Opponent Total Offense           381.9 (28)
98.8 (10)      Opp. Rushing Yards/Game            121.4 (29)
282.2 (32)   Opp. Passing Yards/Game            260.5 (20)
+3 (10t)       Turnover Differential                         +14 (1)

The Chiefs lead the NFL in turnover differential, so the AJC’s D. Orlando Ledbetter joins Noah Coslov to discuss how the Falcons will prepare for that and how to overcome more defensive injuries.

GAME 11: Falcons 38, Cardinals 19

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GAME 10: Eagles 24, Falcons 15

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Ryan, offense slowed down to a crawl

Perkins stalls key drive with costly penalty

Defense gets blown of the line of scrimmage

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PHOTOS: Falcons fall to the Eagles

GAME NINE: Falcons 43, Buccaneers 28

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GAME EIGHT: Falcons 33, Packers 32
 

GAME SEVEN: Chargers 33, Falcons 30 in OT

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Matt Ryan’s late-game interception leads to overtime loss

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GAME SIX: Seahawks 26, Falcons 24

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Matt Ryan’s turnovers were costly

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Seattle slows down Falcons’ running backs Freeman, Coleman

Ryan Schraeder, offensive line rebounds in second half

Julio Jones: ‘It was just a missed call’

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Richard Sherman non-commital on pass interference non-call

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GAME FIVE: Falcons 23, Broncos 16

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Coleman amassed 163 yards to power the offense

Vic Beasley has breakout game with 3.5 sacks

Kemal Ishmael moved to linebacker, led team in tackles

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Photos: Falcons battle the Broncos

GAME FOUR: Falcons 48, Panthers 33

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Tweetcap: Falcons 48, Panthers 33

Old pro Freeney shows new trick with Falcons

Falcons’ rookie Neal holds on vs. Olsen

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Alford battled; Collins to return

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GAME THREE: Falcons 45, Saints 32

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Keanu Neal makes strong debut for Falcons

Falcons’ Deion Jones runs for glory, not survival, in return home

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GAME TWO: Falcons 35, Raiders 28

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Trufant’s heads-up play saves the day

Tight ends help to power offense

Weatherspoon plays strong in first start since 2013

Matthews, Schraeder held Mack sack-less

JEFF SCHULTZ: Falcons put on offensive show and win

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GAME ONE: Buccaneers 31, Falcons 24

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No sacks for new-look Falcons pass rush

Julio Jones not worried about his ankle injury

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