5 things to know about the Falcons on Monday

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, left, waves to the crowd during a ceremony to retire his Boston College jersey number during halftime of an NCAA college football game between Boston College and Connecticut in Boston, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, left, waves to the crowd during a ceremony to retire his Boston College jersey number during halftime of an NCAA college football game between Boston College and Connecticut in Boston, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

FLOWERY BRANCH — The Falcons are set to return from their bye week today.

They are set to face a desperate Arizona squad, which dropped to 4-5-1 after losing to Minnesota 30-24 on Sunday. The game is set for 1 p.m. Sunday at the Georgia Dome.

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

1. First-place Falcons.  The Falcons are in first place in the NFC South with a one-game lead over Tampa Bay (5-5) and a two-game lead over New Orleans (4-6) and Carolina (4-6). The Bucs beat Kansas City on Sunday.

2. Ryan honored at Boston College. Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan took part in a ceremony to retire his Boston College jersey number during halftime of an NCAA college football game between Boston College and Connecticut in Boston on Saturday.

3. Neal fined $24,309 for illegal hit. Falcons safety Keanu Neal was fined by the NFL for a hit he made on Eagles receiver Jordan Matthews. Neal, a rookie and the 17th overall player taken in the 2016 NFL draft, was fined $24,309. He led with his helmet on the play.

4. Playoff plan. Here are the five things the Falcons must do to make the playoffs.

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 today.  Falcons players will prepare and serve Thanksgiving lunch to the homeless at Crossroads Community Ministries for the eighth straight season on Tuesday.  The Falcons Feast presented by Publix will provide more than 750 families with a full meal on Tuesday, 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.

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.

GAME 10: Eagles 24, Falcons 15

5 things we learned from the Falcons’ loss to the Eagles

Ryan, offense slowed down to a crawl

Perkins stalls key drive with costly penalty

Defense gets blown of the line of scrimmage

Keanu Neal can expect fine but Falcons’ biggest issue is injuries (Trufant and Tamme)

Falcons go into bye week wrong way — beat up by Eagles

What Dan Quinn had to say after the loss to the Eagles

What Matt Ryan had to say after the loss to the Eagles

What the Falcons had to say after the loss to the Eagles

PHOTOS: Falcons fall to the Eagles

GAME NINE: Falcons 43, Buccaneers 28

5 things we learned from the Falcons’ rout of the Bucs

GAME EIGHT: Falcons 33, Packers 32
 

GAME SEVEN: Chargers 33, Falcons 30 in OT

5 things we learned from the Falcons loss to the Chargers

Dan Quinn’s gamble with house-money backfires

6 penalties ‘unacceptable’ for Falcons offensive line

Philip Rivers confounds Falcons with short passes: ‘He picked us apart’

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

PHOTOS: Chargers rally to beat Falcons

GAME SIX: Seahawks 26, Falcons 24

5 things we learned from the Falcons loss to the Seahawks

MARK BRADLEY: The Falcons didn’t win, but they made one guy believe (me)

MARK BRADLEY: The Falcons got jobbed but did themselves proud

Matt Ryan’s turnovers were costly

What Dan Quinn had to say after the 26-24 loss to Seattle

Seattle slows down Falcons’ running backs Freeman, Coleman

Ryan Schraeder, offensive line rebounds in second half

Julio Jones: ‘It was just a missed call’

What the Falcons had to say after the 26-24 loss to Seattle

What Matt Ryan had to say after the 26-24 loss to Seattle

Richard Sherman non-commital on pass interference non-call

PHOTOS: Falcons at Seahawks in Seattle

GAME FIVE: Falcons 23, Broncos 16

5 things we learned from the Falcons upset of Super Bowl champs

MARK BRADLEY: The Falcons rock a rookie in the Rockies

What Dan Quinn have to say after the win over Denver

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

What the Falcons had to say after the win over the Broncos

Photos: Falcons battle the Broncos

GAME FOUR: Falcons 48, Panthers 33

5 things we learned from the Falcons’ 48-33 win over the Panthers

Tweetcap: Falcons 48, Panthers 33

Old pro Freeney shows new trick with Falcons

Falcons’ rookie Neal holds on vs. Olsen

What Julio Jones had to say after the 48-33 win over the Panthers

What Dan Quinn had to say after the 48-33 win over the Panthers

What Matt Ryan had to say after the 48-33 win over the Panthers

Alford battled; Collins to return

Early view in NFC South isn’t what most expected; Falcons on top

GAME THREE: Falcons 45, Saints 32

5 things we learned from the Falcons’ 45-32 win over the Saints

Falcons, Saints protest with unity circle before game

REPORT CARD: Falcons earned high marks for drubbing Saints

What Dan Quinn had to say after the 45-32 win over the Saints

What Matt Ryan had to say after the 45-32 win over the Saints

What the Falcons had to say after the 45-32 win over the Saints

Keanu Neal makes strong debut for Falcons

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

AJC POWER RANKINGS: Falcons best in NFC South?

GAME TWO: Falcons 35, Raiders 28

5 things we learned from the Falcons’ win over the Raiders

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

What Matt Ryan had to say after beating the Raiders

What Dan Quinn had to say after the win over the Raiders

GAME ONE: Buccaneers 31, Falcons 24

5 things we learned from the Falcons’ loss to the Bucs

No sacks for new-look Falcons pass rush

Julio Jones not worried about his ankle injury

Falcons have a case of the “no-huddle” blues

REPORT CARD: Falcons can’t ‘gift’ opponents 17 points

FILM REVIEW: Beasley missing in action

AJC’S NFL POWER RANKINGS: Where are the Falcons?

Hageman charged is domestic violence case

 

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