ATLANTA — Atlanta Falcons fans are the epitome of perfection, a perfect mix of joy and pain.
It is a testament to the passion that the team has shown for the last eight seasons.
But this season is going to be different, as it has been for many fans, and there will be no repeat of the first season under new head coach Dan Quinn.
Quinn, who took over the team from Dan Quinn, is the perfect head coach for a team that has never had a winning season, and that is the kind of success that has made the Atlanta Falcons one of the NFL’s most popular franchises.
This year, Atlanta is poised to win its first championship since 2005.
Atlanta is undefeated for the first time since 2006, and the Falcons are the only undefeated team in the NFC South.
There are a few things to note in Atlanta’s victory over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday night.
First, it is the first postseason win for the Falcons since 2004.
The Falcons’ season was derailed by injuries to running back Devonta Freeman and cornerback Keenan Lewis, but Freeman has returned for the playoffs.
And the Falcons have had some good performances in recent weeks, like when they defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Saints, however, lost their two leading scorers and quarterback Drew Brees to a season-ending knee injury.
Second, the Falcons will face the Carolina Panthers in the playoffs, which will be the first meeting of the playoffs between the teams.
The Panthers have a 1-1 record against the Falcons this season.
The two teams are currently tied for second place in the NFL with three playoff wins each.
Third, Atlanta has had a few big plays.
In fact, the Panthers have scored fewer points per game than any team in NFL history.
They have scored more points than any other team since 2009, when they were ranked second in the league.
Fourth, the game was set up by a rare interception by Carolina defensive end Cameron Wake, which happened late in the first quarter.
That was Wake’s second interception of the season, with the first coming in Week 1 of the 2016 season.
In his first game back after missing five weeks with a hamstring injury, Wake had a sack of Saints quarterback Drew Bledsoe and had another sack of Bleds in the third quarter, when Wake had to be helped off the field.
Atlanta’s defense has held teams to just 15 points per contest this season, a mark they have never been able to accomplish.
They are a team with a reputation for being tough on offense, but the Falcons, who were 3-9 in 2017, were able to get points against the Saints.
Fifth, this will be a test for Quinn.
The first time the Falcons were in the postseason was the 2015 season, when Quinn led the team to its first Super Bowl.
Since then, they have had five losing seasons.
Quinn is one of just two coaches in NFL franchise history to win four Super Bowls, and his teams have won four in a row.
He is also the only coach in franchise history with two Super Bowl appearances and four Super Football titles.
This will be Quinn’s third championship.
He has won two with the Falcons.
And he is one-and-done.
But he will also face a tough challenge in getting Atlanta to the postseason again.
The NFC South is a tough division for a playoff team.
In the past five seasons, the Atlanta Hawks have been a playoff participant only once, the 2010 season.
This season, Atlanta will have to win three games to advance to the Super Bowl, which is a rarity in the division.
The New Orleans Rams have won five of their past six games against the Atlanta Panthers.
And in that span, Atlanta had a 14-6 record.
This could be the toughest division in the AFC South for Atlanta.
The Atlanta Falcons are undefeated in the regular season this season and have won six straight games.
They also have three NFC Championship Games on their resume, which ranks as the longest streak in the history of the division, including the 1960s.
That streak is tied for the second longest in NFL History, and Atlanta has played the best schedule of any team this season with seven of its nine games against teams in the top four of the NFC West.
Atlanta will host the Philadelphia Giants on Sunday.