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Noisy Bears fans in Dome affected Falcons

The Falcons, losers of 10 straight games in outdoor stadiums, are on the road for their next four games. There were times Sunday at the Georgia Dome when it felt like they were already away from Atlanta.

Thousands of Falcons fans fled the Dome once the Bears took a two-touchdown lead. The large contingent of Bears fans stayed and were so noisy it was difficult for the Falcons’ offensive players to communicate before the snap.

“Believe it or not for a home game, we had to go to a silent count because there was enough noise in the dome,” Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter said. “Noise always echoes both for us and against us. That’s only the second time since I’ve been here that we had to go to a silent count at home.”

Koetter, who is in his third season with the Falcons, said he couldn’t recall the other time that happened at the Dome. He said it might have been during their 33-10 loss to the Seahawks last season.

Quarterback Matt Ryan had to call a timeout in the fourth quarter because Falcons players couldn’t hear once they lined up and the play clock was close to expiring. He said he can’t recall ever having to use a silent count in the Dome.

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“But it’s one of those things where when you don’t play particularly well … ” Ryan said, trailing off. “We’ve been good at home in the past and that gets our fans going. Our fans have been great since I’ve been here. But it was a tough one.”

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