Originally created 12/30/98

Falcons notebook: Falcons schedule gets tougher



SUWANEE, Ga. -- As the defending NFC West champions, the Falcons will play a much tougher -- and more attractive -- schedule in 1999.

Dates and times won't be announced for a few months, but the Falcons know who they'll play. Nondivision home games will be against NFC Central champion Minnesota, AFC Central champion Jacksonville, playoff-bound Arizona and Baltimore. The road games are against NFC East champion Dallas, Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay.

Of course, the Falcons will play their usual home-and-home games against their four NFC West foes -- Carolina, New Orleans, St. Louis and San Francisco.

The preseason games are against Detroit and Baltimore at home and Tennessee and Cincinnati on the road.

M&Ms:

Falcons receivers Tony Martin and Terance Mathis don't get the notoriety that some other pairs do, but they were as productive as almost anybody.

The two receivers combined for 2,324 yards, which was second best for a pair in the NFL and only 7 yards behind Minnesota's heralded duo of Randy Moss and Cris Carter.

"For a tandem, I think Tony and Terance stack up with just about anybody in the league," Brooks said.

ETC.:

Over 1,000 tickets remain for the Falcons' Jan. 9 playoff game in the Georgia Dome. The tickets are $60 and can be purchased through Ticketmaster by calling 1-800-336-4000. ... Fullback Brian Kozlowski belongs on the injury report with Lester Archambeau, Ronnie Bradford and Craig Sauer. Kozlowski is nursing a sore ankle and probably won't practice much this week. Chandler, who left the Miami game with a strained back, is fine. ... Center Robbie Tobeck may have played his best game of the season against the Dolphins, and Calvin Collins and rookie Bob Hallen also played well while alternating at left guard. Hallen, the team's second-round pick, also got in a few plays at tight end.

Tony Fabrizio is based in Atlanta and can be reached at tfabrizio@aol.com