Atlanta Falcons used to being dissed

Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez celebrates as he leaves the field after the Falcons...

Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez celebrates as he leaves the field after the Falcons defeated the Seattle Seahawks in their NFL NFC Divisional playoff football game in Atlanta, Georgia January 13, 2013. (REUTERS)

JOHN KRYK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:17 PM ET

FLOWERY BRANCH, GA. - Just because the Atlanta Falcons are used to getting dissed nationally doesn’t mean they all like it.

“We’ve had that s--t from Day 1,” linebacker Mike Peterson said on Wednesday, four days before his Falcons play host to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC championship game (3 p.m. EST, CTV/FOX).

“I don’t think me, or anybody in this locker room, has a problem with playing the underdog role, or being the team that everybody is doubting.”

How could they not be used to it by now? It’s not as though the franchise hasn’t had on-field success in recent years. Quite the contrary. It’s had a ton.

But only in the regular season, until last weekend.

Since 2008, Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff and head coach Mike Smith have built a powerhouse out of what had become a joke of a franchise – at least on the field.

The nadir had come in 2007, when former college heading-coaching glamour boy Bobby Petrino – the Chip Kelly of the day, perhaps – proved co


Videos

Photos