New twist: 2010 Falcons also can win on the road

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - The Falcons have added a new twist to their image as a team that is difficult to beat in Atlanta.

Suddenly coach Mike Smith's team also is winning consistently away from the Georgia Dome.

The Falcons' 31-10 win at Carolina on Sunday was the team's third straight road victory and seventh straight overall. The Falcons are 5-2 on the road to lock up their first winning road record since 2002.

Smith says teams must win on the road in the regular season to be in position for postseason success. The Falcons, who take their NFC-leading 11-2 record to Seattle Sunday, are in position to have home-field advantage throughout the conference playoffs.

Tight end Tony Gonzalez says one difference on the road this year is the added maturity of key players, including quarterback Matt Ryan.

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