X-Factor: Why have the Falcons struggled at home?

There are plenty of empty seats in Mercedes-Benz Stadium as Atlanta Falcons fans watch their team fall to 1-7 with a loss to the Seattle Seahawks in an NFL football game on Sunday, October 27, 2019, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com
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There are plenty of empty seats in Mercedes-Benz Stadium as Atlanta Falcons fans watch their team fall to 1-7 with a loss to the Seattle Seahawks in an NFL football game on Sunday, October 27, 2019, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

Credit: ccompton@ajc.com

Credit: ccompton@ajc.com

After the Falcons won their home opener, they lost their next five home games in the third season at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

In this year's regular-season home finale, the Falcons (5-9) will host the Jaguars (5-9) at 1 p.m. Sunday with a chance to finish with a 3-5 home record.

With the team down, fans have elected to dump their tickets on the secondary market. Tickets for the previous home game against the Panthers, a 40-20 win, were as low as $14 on StubHub.com.

“I would say No. 1, we love playing at home because of the fans,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. “We play for the team, we work for the team, but we are playing for the city. We love having their energy in the building and the toughness that goes when the environment can be that difficult.”

The Falcons have announced tickets distributed at over 70,000 for each game, but have not given the actual — much lower — attendance. But the players have noticed the empty seats.

“I understand when you are not winning,” quarterback Matt Ryan said. “I guess it is not that exciting, and we have to do our part as players. When we get it on, our stadium can get going for sure. It has been disappointing that we haven’t been as good as we are capable of being, but we are playing better right now and hopefully, we can give the folks that are there on Sunday afternoon something to cheer about.”

In 2017, the Falcons went 5-3 in their new posh stadium. Last season, they were 4-4. That’s a combined record of 11-12 over the three seasons at MBS.

This season after beating Philadelphia in a great Sunday night atmosphere, the Falcons were defeated by the Titans,  RamsSeahawksBuccaneers and Saints before beating the Panthers earlier this month.

“It has definitely been a bummer for us, not to be able to deliver like we are capable of,” Quinn said. “That is why it is important for us this weekend, we want to show them how important they are by having that kind of performance for them.”

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