The Falcons had never known consistent regular-season success before Mike Smith and Matt Ryan.
The coach and quarterback now need to extend that success into the postseason.
A franchise which before Smith and Ryan arrived in 2008 never had back-to-back winning seasons suddenly is on a roll of four straight seasons above .500.
The success, including three playoff years, has raised expectations, making the postseason failures all the more painful. The Falcons are 0-3 in the playoffs, leading to restlessness and impatience from the top of the organization as the team prepares to open training camp.
Owner Arthur Blank summoned general manager Thomas Dimitroff, Smith and reporters to his office after last season to express the ''tremendous amount of disappointment'' for ''everybody connected with the organization.''
The Falcons' 24-2 wild-card loss at the Giants after a 10-6 record set the mandate for the 2012 season. The message from Blank is cle...