Atlanta Falcons: Setting the Table for the Saints
While everything seems to hinge on this weekend for the Atlanta Falcons on the road against the Saints, there is more to this game than just a battle with a division opponent. There is a history with New Orleans since both teams were placed in the same division.
Now the battles are more of an offensive affair and most recently, there have been playoff berths to be won (last season excluded).
According to newprleanssaints.com, Atlanta leads the series, 47-43, with New Orleans holding a 13-4 advantage over the Falcons since 2006.
The series has been defined by hard-fought contests and lengthy periods of dominance for both clubs. Since 1991, 27 games have been decided by a touchdown or less. The Falcons had a 10-game winning streak from 1995-99, which remains the Saints’ longest winless streak against an opponent. New Orleans took 13 of 16 in the rivalry from 1986-94 and Atlanta won nine-straight over the fledgling Saints from 1969-73.
Atlanta’s most recent mastery over a five-year period ended with a 21-19 win for New Orleans at the Georgia Dome on Nov. 22, 2000. Seven games in the series have gone into overtime, including the 37-34 Saints win on September 7, 2014 at the Georgia Dome.
Also, this is a game that could go a long way to determining whether or not the Falcons retain Mike Smith for next year if the team suffers two straight losing seasons.
In the 90 regular season games of the series there has been:
- 1,884 points scored by New Orleans, 1,991 allowed.
- A ten-game Atlanta winning streak from 1995-99.
- A six-game win streak for New Orleans from 1986-89.
- A 23-22 record for the Saints in games played in New Orleans, including the last three contests played at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
- 37 games decided by double-digits.
- 17 games decided by 21 or more points.
- 46 games decided by seven points or less.
- 3 games decided by one point.
- A 38-point win by Saints (11/1/87) - Biggest Saints win.
- A 55-point loss by Saints (9/16/73) - Biggest Saints loss.
- Four shutouts—Two by each club, the most recent a 38-0 win in Atlanta on 11/1/87.
- Seven overtime games— three wins by New Orleans.
- Six Monday night games, two Sunday night games and four Thursday night games.
- A 22-23 home record for New Orleans and a 21-24 road record.
I expect there to be plenty of scoring on Sunday. Both defenses are amongst the worst in the league. Look for both quarterbacks to air it out and the secondaries to have a long day covering some of the best receiving units in the NFL.