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Thomas Dimitroff's three keys to Falcons' success

Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff has done an outstanding job in turning the Falcons into a consistent winner for the first time in the organization's history. The Falcons are 43-21 in the regular season and have been to the postseason in three of the past four seasons.

One thing has eluded the two-time Sporting News' NFL Executive of the Year, though, and that's playoff success. The Falcons are 0-3 in the playoffs under Dimitroff and head coach Mike Smith.

During a Monday appearance on NFL Network's "NFL AM", Dimitroff discussed what the Falcons need to do in order to achieve postseason success.

"I think there are three salient points," Dimitroff said. "One is we need to protect Matt Ryan, allow Matt to get the ball down the field to our playmakers. Simply stated.

"Two, defensively, we need to play with an element of urgent athleticism and let these football players play ball, fly to the ball. We feel we have the athleticism to do that. And then three, generally speaking, we need to be an organization that consistently is going to finish. Finish plays, finish games and finish the season."

The Falcons remain the No. 2 franchise in the always competitive NFC South behind the New Orleans Saints and their chances of making the preseason are pretty good. They might need to win now, however, because it appears as though the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are closing fast.

Follow Brian McIntyre on Twitter @brian_mcintyre.

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