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Falcons secure first winning season since 2012

With their ninth win of the season, Atlanta has its first winning season locked up in what seems like a very long time.

San Francisco 49ers v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

The Falcons’ 41-13 win over the 49ers wasn’t just an impressive win, though it was that, opponent be darned. It was also the ninth win of the 2016 season, which put these Falcons on the right side of .500 for the first time since the 2012 season, when they went to the NFC Conference Championship Game and lost to this same San Francisco team.

To say a winning season represents progress would be to understate things, I think. Atlanta is in its second year under Dan Quinn, and not many fans expected much more than a .500 record against a very tough schedule in 2016, especially after three straights years where the Falcons went 4-12, 7-9, and 8-8. But these Falcons have been an absolute nightmare offensively for other teams and have gotten it done on defense, especially against inferior opponents.

The end result is that this team will finish with a winning record and the franchise mark for points scored, which is a triumph in and of itself. So long as they can keep their winning ways going in the next couple of weeks against the Panthers and Saints, they should be in the playoffs, as well, with a chance to prove that their potent combination of terrific offense and opportunistic defense is enough to carry the day.