The NFL’s Birds of Prey


I had the opportunity to be a guest on the inaugural episode of The Falcoholic podcast yesterday so if you’re itching for some Falcons talk to get through the doldrums of Summer, check it out.

During the podcast, Adam Schultz, the Marquis of Musings, mentioned he held a special place for other NFL teams with a bird mascot (until the Ravens talk turned him around completely) and it got me thinking…how have the Falcons done against the other NFL Birds of Prey?

Hit the jump to see if birds of a feather really do flock together and be sure to check out the podcast.

There are five NFL teams that sport some type of bird as their mascot – Eagles, Ravens, Falcons, Cardinals and Seahawks. Let’s break down how each have done – using regular season wins only – in this last decade (2000-2009).

In the aughts, the Eagles have been the best of the best with 103 victories and eight playoff appearances including a Super Bowl appearance. They are also 7-1 vs. the Falcons in that time including 2-0 since Matt Ryan arrived.

The Ravens, who are discussed in detail during the podcast, are number two on this list. They’ve racked up 92 wins and made six playoff appearances since 2000 – when they won their only Super Bowl. The Falcons are 1-1 vs. the Ravens since 2000 but haven’t played since 2006.

The Osprey of the Northwest aka Seahawks enter our list in the third spot. 82 victories and five playoff appearances with a Super Bowl appearance in 2005 make the Seahawks one of best bird teams in the NFL. The Seahawks also hold a 5-1 advantage heads-up vs. Atlanta.

The Falcons are currently fourth on this list with 75 wins and three playoff appearances. They were the only “bird” team without a Super Bowl appearance from 2000-2009.

And finally, the Cardinals. They won only 62 games in the decade of the aughts but did manage two playoff berths in 2008 and 2009 – with a Super Bowl appearance thrown in. The Cardinals are 2-3 vs. Atlanta but have won two in a row including the playoff game after the 2008 season.

It was interesting to see that of the five “bird” franchises, the Falcons were the only team to not reach the Super Bowl between 2000 and 2009. Further discouraging is the Falcons 6-15 record against other birds of prey. Is there a mutual respect that makes the Falcons play down to their competition or does the NFL just have a lot of good “bird” teams? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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