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Falcons focusing on fundamentals during bye week

Atlanta is working on the basics in practice this week as it waits to learn which team it will face in the Divisional Round.

Scott Cunningham

The Atlanta Falcons earned a first-round bye in the 2013 NFL playoffs, so without a game to play this weekend, they'll use the extra time to get back to basics. The Falcons practice four times this week, and the format is something closer to what they do during training camp rather than what they typically do during the season.

"Obviously we don’t know our opponent yet, so the gist of it is practicing against what Mike Nolan’s defense does and vice versa," Justin Blalock said.

While the team is just trying to stay sharp and focus on fundamentals, the coaching staff began scouting opponents on Wednesday. They started with the Seattle Seahawks, and they'll cover the Vikings Thursday and the Redskins on Friday.

Atlanta finished the regular season 13-3, which earned it the NFC's No. 1 seed and home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. Should the Packers beat the Vikings, the Falcons would host the winner of the Seahawks-Redskins game. A win by the Vikings over Green Bay would send Minnesota to Atlanta.

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