2002 Atlanta Falcons season

2002 Atlanta Falcons season
Head coachDan Reeves
Home fieldGeorgia Dome
Division place2nd NFC South
Playoff finishWon Wild Card Playoffs (at Packers) 27–7
Lost Divisional Playoffs (at Eagles) 6–20
Pro BowlersQB Michael Vick
LB Keith Brooking
AP All-ProsLB Keith Brooking (2nd team)

The 2002 season was the Atlanta Falcons' 37th in the league and their first in the newly formed NFC South. It was also the team's first season under new owner Arthur Blank, who acquired the team during the 2002 offseason. The team improved upon their previous season's output of 7–9 and qualified for the playoffs for the first time in four years. The team was also involved in a rare tie, matching the Pittsburgh Steelers 34–34 at the end of overtime.[1]

Before the season, the Falcons acquired running back Warrick Dunn to help with the team’s running game. Their running game has suffered the past three years. Dunn finished the season with 927 rushing yards and 9 total touchdowns.

After seeing limited action as a rookie, this was Michael Vick's first full season as starting quarterback.

In the Wild Card Game, Vick and the Falcons easily stunned the Brett Favre-led Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field, 27–7, giving the Packers their first ever playoff loss in Lambeau. However, a 20–6 loss to Donovan McNabb and the Philadelphia Eagles in the next round kept the Falcons from advancing in the playoffs.

This was Dan Reeves' last full season as head coach as he was replaced by interim Wade Phillips during the following season.

Vick and linebacker Keith Brooking were voted to play in the Pro Bowl after the season. However, neither Vick not Brooking actually participated in the game. The Pro Bowl was Vick's first and Brooking's second.



Signings Departures
RB Warrick Dunn (Buccaneers) QB Chris Chandler (Bears)
DE John Thierry (Packers) G Bob Hallen (Chargers)
DT Ellis Johnson (Colts) LB Henri Crockett (Vikings)
LB John Holecek (Chargers) FS Ronnie Bradford (Vikings)
T Todd Weiner (Seahawks) WR Terance Mathis (Steelers)
CB Allen Rossum (Packers) DE Chuck Wiley (Vikings)
CB Kevin Mathis (Saints)
CB Fred Weary (Saints)

NFL Draft

2002 Atlanta Falcons draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
1 16 T. J. Duckett  Running back Michigan State from Washington via Oakland
3 80 Will Overstreet  Linebacker Tennessee
4 116 Martin Bibla  Guard Miami from Houston
5 148 Kevin McCadam  Safety Virginia Tech
5 158 Kurt Kittner  Quarterback Illinois from Oakland
6 184 Kahlil Hill  Wide receiver Iowa
7 217 Michael Coleman  Wide receiver Widener from Dallas
7 244 Kevin Shaffer  Offensive tackle Tulsa
      Made roster    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career

Undrafted free agents

2002 Undrafted Free Agents of note
Player Position College
Matt Allen Punter Troy State



2002 Atlanta Falcons staff
Front office
  • Chairman/President/Chief Executive Officer – Arthur Blank
  • Senior Advisor to the President – Bobby Beathard
  • Vice President of Football Operations – Ron Hill
  • College Scouting Coordinator – Reed Johnson
  • Director of Pro Personnel – Les Snead
  • Assistant to Head Coach/Pro Personnel – Marvin Bass

Head coaches

  • Executive Vice President/Head Coach – Dan Reeves

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches

Special teams coaches

Strength and conditioning

  • Strength and Conditioning – Al Miller
  • Assistant Strength and Conditioning – Rocky Colburn


2002 Atlanta Falcons final roster

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen


Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists

Practice squad

Rookies in italics
active, inactive, practice squad

Regular season


In the 2002 regular season, the Falcons' non-divisional, conference opponents were primarily from the NFC North, although they also played the New York Giants from the NFC East, and the Seattle Seahawks from the NFC West. Their non-conference opponents were from the AFC North.

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 8, 2002 at Green Bay Packers L 37–34 (OT) 63,127
2 September 15, 2002 Chicago Bears L 14–13 68,081
3 September 22, 2002 Cincinnati Bengals W 30–3 68,129
4 Bye
5 October 6, 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers L 20–6 68,936
6 October 13, 2002 at New York Giants W 17–10 78,728
7 October 20, 2002 Carolina Panthers W 30–0 68,056
8 October 27, 2002 at New Orleans Saints W 37–35 67,883
9 November 3, 2002 Baltimore Ravens W 20–17 68,532
10 November 10, 2002 at Pittsburgh Steelers T 34–34 (OT) 62,779
11 November 17, 2002 New Orleans Saints W 24–17 70,382
12 November 24, 2002 at Carolina Panthers W 41–0 72,533
13 December 1, 2002 at Minnesota Vikings W 30–24 63,947
14 December 8, 2002 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers L 34–10 65,648
15 December 15, 2002 Seattle Seahawks L 30–24 69,551
16 December 22, 2002 Detroit Lions W 36–15 69,307
17 December 29, 2002 at Cleveland Browns L 24–16 73,528

Game summaries

Week 1: at Green Bay Packers

Week 1: Atlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers
1 2 34OTTotal
Falcons 0 21 310034
Packers 3 10 147337

at Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin

Game information

Week 2: vs. Chicago Bears

Week 2: Chicago Bears at Atlanta Falcons
1 2 34Total
Bears 0 7 7014
Falcons 0 10 3013

at Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia

Game information



Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
Wild Card January 4, 2003 at Green Bay Packers W 27–7 65,358
Divisional January 11, 2003 at Philadelphia Eagles L 20–6 66,452

Game Summaries

NFC Wild Card: at Green Bay Packers

NFC Wild Card Game: (6) Atlanta Falcons at (3) Green Bay Packers
1 2 34Total
Falcons 14 10 3027
Packers 0 0 707

at Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin

  • Date: January 4, 2003
  • Game time: 8:00 p.m.
  • Game weather: Clear, 31 °F (−1 °C)
  • Game attendance: 65,358
  • Referee: Bernie Kukar (86)
  • TV: FOX
  • Recap , Game Book
Game information


NFC South
(2) Tampa Bay Buccaneers 12 4 0 .750 4–2 9–3 346 196 W1
(6) Atlanta Falcons 9 6 1 .594 4–2 7–5 402 314 L1
New Orleans Saints 9 7 0 .563 3–3 7–5 432 388 L3
Carolina Panthers 7 9 0 .438 1–5 4–8 258 302 W2


Categories: Atlanta Falcons seasons | 2002 National Football League season by team | 2002 in sports in Georgia (U.S. state)

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