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The Atlanta Falcons Are Piling Up Milestones But Does Their Fast Start Mean Trouble For The Postseason?

With Michael Turner reaching 5,000 yards rushing and John Abraham recording his 100th career sack last week, the Atlanta Falcons continue to pileup the milestones. In Week 1, Todd McClure became the new Ironman of the Falcons with his 129th consecutive start (he's up to 141 now). Also in Week 1, Tony Gonzalez became the first tight end to catch 1,000 passes. With three weeks remaining in the season, I take a look at what other records could fall and reveal a dirty little secret about starting a season fast. Let's dig in, shall we?

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Milestones Approaching

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Roddy White needs 92 yards to reach 6,000 for his career. He would become only the third Falcon behind Terance Mathis and Alfred Jenkins to do so.

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Tony Gonzalez can move into 10th all-time on the touchdown list - passing Don Maynard - with two more scoring grabs and could reach 90 for his career if he gets three more this season. He's also in a battle with Terrell Owens for fifth all-time on the receiving yards list. Currently he's in sixth, only 22 yards behind T.O.

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John Abraham, fresh off his 99th and 100th career sacks, needs only one more to move into 22nd on the all-time sack list.

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Greatness in Atlanta

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Since 2008, only Adrian Peterson has more rushing touchdowns (39) than Michael Turner (38) and Peterson has played in five more games.

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Over the past three seasons, Roddy White is second to only Andre Johnson in receiving yards with 3,754.

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A Note of Caution

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Since the re-alignment in 2002, 18 teams have began a season with at least 11 wins in their first 13 games as the Falcons have done so this season. Of those 18, only three have gone on to win the Super Bowl. In fact, almost as many teams (seven) have lost in their first playoff game, than have reached the Super Bowl (eight). Using those numbers, there's an 83 percent chance the Falcons won't even reach the Super Bowl. Obviously, this doesn't take into account homefield advantage how awesome this Falcons team is but it's worth noting.

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The Full Results

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Since 2002, 18 teams started a season 11-2 or better.

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Three of those teams went on to win the Super Bowl. (17 percent)

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Five teams lost the Super Bowl. (28 percent)

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Three teams lost the conference championship. (17 percent)

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Seven teams lost the divisional playoff game. (39 percent)

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.