5 things to know about the Falcons on Friday

The Falcons are 6-4 at the bye and have a major issue to figure out moving forward. The AJC’s D. Orlando Ledbetter and Noah Coslov get into that and the Falcons place amongst the NFC’s best.

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, second from right, has a mild exchange of words with Seattle Seahawks' Michael Bennett, left, Bobby Wagner (54) and Cliff Avril (56), during an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, second from right, has a mild exchange of words with Seattle Seahawks’ Michael Bennett, left, Bobby Wagner (54) and Cliff Avril (56), during an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)

FLOWERY BRANCH –The Falcons (6-4) are off this week, but are set to face the Arizona Cardinals (4-4-1) when they return to action at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 27 at the Georgia Dome.

The Cardinals play at Minnesota (5-4) at 1 p.m. on Sunday, if you’d like to do some TV scouting.

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

1. NFC South update. The Panthers did the Falcons a solid by knocking off the Saints 23-20 on Thursday Night Football. Now, the Falcons have a two-game lead over both of the 4-6 teams. Tampa Bay (4-5) plays at Kansas City (7-2) at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

2. Falcons for the Hall of Fame. The 25 semifinalists for the next class in the Pro Football Hall of Fame includes former Falcons players Morten Andersen, Mike Kenn, Chris Hinton and Clay Matthews and former Georgia Bulldogs Hines Ward and Terrell Davis. Longtime NFL writer Rick Gosselin wrote an article titled: “No Falcon love in Canton” for the Talk of Fame Sports Network.  The article discusses how Tommy Nobis has been overlooked while Dick Butkus and Ray Nitschke went right in. All were on the All-60s team. George Kunz, Jeff Van Note, Kenn and Bill Fralic have been over looked, too. Hinton has picked up some steam for this year.

3. Practice. The Falcons return to practice on Monday after the bye week. Cornerback Desmond Trufant (shoulder) and running back Tevin Coleman (hamstring) are expected back by coach Dan Quinn.

4. Neal’s hit. Eagles coach Doug Pederson said the NFL told him a penalty should have been called for the hit that Falcons rookie strong safety Keanu Neal put on wide receiver Jordan Matthews. We should know by 4 p.m. today if Neal was fined for the play.

5. Giving Thanks. In celebration of Thanksgiving, fullback Patrick DiMarco will provide a catered Thanksgiving meal to 125 men from the Shepherd’s Inn, the men’s facility of the Atlanta Mission on Monday, November 21. Falcons players will prepare and serve Thanksgiving lunch to the homeless at Crossroads Community Ministries for the eighth straight season on Tuesday, November 22.  The Falcons Feast presented by Publix will provide more than 750 families with a full meal on Tuesday, November 22 to take home and cook on Thanksgiving, courtesy of Atlanta Falcons players, the Arthur M. Blank Foundation and Publix.  In celebration of Thanksgiving, kicker Matt Bryant, punter Matt Bosher and long snapper Josh Harris will provide a catered Thanksgiving meal to 300 women and children from My Sister’s House, the women’s and children’s facility of the Atlanta Mission, on Tuesday, November 22.

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