The "dirty bird" was their trademark celebration en route to Super Bowl XXXIII.
The Atlanta Falcons need to rediscover that rhythm after opening playoff losses three of the past four years.
The Falcons are on a run of unprecedented success, posting four consecutive winning seasons for the first time in franchise history under head coach Mike Smith. But each of those campaigns ended in major disappointment.
Atlanta, which didn't qualify for the playoffs at 9-7 in 2009, was bumped from the postseason by Arizona (2008), Green Bay (2010) and the New York Giants (2011). All three of those teams did reach the Super Bowl, with the Packers and Giants winning championships. The Falcons, though, had better regular-season records than each of their opponents. Equally devastating, Atlanta played some of its worst football of the season in those losses.
Such failings are the motivational fuel for the 2012 Falcons.
"It's time for us to march past that first game," defensive end John Abraham ...