Atlanta Falcons: 30 greatest players in franchise history

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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Matt Bryant, Atlanta Falcons
(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) /

44. . K. (2009-present). Matt Bryant. 20. player

  • Franchise leader in field goals made (230+), points scored (1,029+)
  • Team record for field goals made (34), points scored (158) in a season (2016)
  • 1x Pro Bowl (2016)
  • Made GW FG to send Falcons to 2012 NFC Championship

When it comes to putting the ball through the uprights, the Falcons have had one of the better histories of doing so in the NFL. Five Falcons placekicker have made it to the Pro Bowl, including Pro Football Hall of Famer Morten Andersen. This quintet doesn’t even include an underrated kicker from the 2000s in Jay Feely.

While Andersen made the greatest kick in franchise history to lift The Dirty Birds to the Super Bowl, the greatest Falcons kicker is the ageless wonder that is Matt Bryant.

At an unassuming 5-foot-9, the 40-something year-old with a bald noggin looks more like a Falcons coach than one of the best field goal kickers in the game today. Bryant is one of those players who seems to get better with age. He made the only Pro Bowl so far of his career at his age 41 season.

In 2016, Bryant set franchise records for field goals made (34) and points scored in a season (158). He was a huge reason that the Falcons had one of the greatest offenses in NFL history that fall. Let’s not forget that he is still extending his franchise record of field goals made and points scored entering year 10 with the Dirty Birds.

After being undrafted out of Baylor in 1999, Bryant wouldn’t make his way to Atlanta until a decade later. He bounced around during his first decade of professional football, playing most notably with the New York Giants and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Let’s just say that the Buccaneers still haven’t appropriately replaced him in the decade since his release.

To date, Bryant’s biggest kick came in the 2012 NFC Divisional Round against the feisty Seattle Seahawks. Atlanta blew a first-half lead only to have Bryant come to the rescue with a 49-yard game-winning field goal to beat Seattle to reach the 2012 NFC Championship.

Bryant is entering his age 43 NFL season. As one of the most accurate kickers in the league, there is reason to believe that he will be able to play out his new three-year extension that will run through 2020 with the Falcons.

Though not a hall of famer like Andersen, Bryant’s body of work makes him the greatest kicker in franchise history. He is a no-doubt Ring of Honor candidate when he does choose to hang up the spikes.