The Falcons attempted to acquire Green Bay Packers running back Jim Taylor. There were tensions in Green Bay because the Packers first round pick, Jim Grabowski would be groomed to take over for Taylor. The signing of Grabowski upset Taylor but he stated he would leave Green Bay once his contract expired, therefore the Falcons could not acquire the running back.
The Falcons played their first game (preseason) on August 1, 1966 against the Philadelphia Eagles before a crowd of 26,072 at Atlanta Stadium. The Falcons would lose against the Eagles and would lose their first nine games in the regular season before finally getting their first franchise win on the road against the New York Giants, 27-16. Former Giant Ernie Wheelwright scored two TD's receiving and ran for 51 more yards as QBRandy Johnson hit for a trio of TD's. Their first ever home victory was against the St. Louis Cardinals, 16-10 to a crowd of 57,169. The Falcons ended their inaugural season at 3-11, yet Tommy Nobis won the NFL Rookie of the Year Award and became the first Falcon named to the Pro Bowl.