Injury may curtail Falcons' season

Updated: August 18, 2003, 11:27 AM ET
By By Darrell Trimble | NFL Insider
The Atlanta Falcons have been the model of consistency since their inception in 1966. Unfortunately, they've been consistently bad. The Dirty Birds have had very few highlights in their 36-year history. They've only finished above .500 seven times and none of those winning seasons happened consecutively.

But after finishing 9-6-1 last year and becoming the only team in league history to beat the Green Bay Packers in the playoffs in Lambeau Field, expectations were sky-high heading into 2003. But when Michael Vick fractured his fibula in a preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens, the playoff dreams of the Falcons were shattered.

The best-case scenario is that the NFL's latest media darling misses only the first four games of the season.