The Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints have a long history of hate that, over the years, has blossomed into the best rivalry in the NFL.
The two teams have been playing each other since 1967 and twice a season since 1970. The all time series record stands at 52 wins for the Atlanta Falcons and 48 wins for the New Orleans Saints.
When both teams were terrible for so long, both teams always played hard out of hate for one another. My father, who is a life long Falcons fan and has been watching the Falcons since their inception, told me when I first started watching football about the Falcons vs Saints rivalry. He told me that the games were often exciting and down to the wire. No matter the records of either team, a great game could almost always be expected.
The two teams meet every season at least once on national television. Usually, it is Monday Night Football, but over the last few seasons, the teams have met on Thursday Night Football. Several crazy moments have happened in these games.
Who could forget the blocked punt from the Saints against the Falcons after Hurricane Katrina. Deion Jones game sealing interception that gave the Falcons a hard fought win is another exciting game between the rivals. Drew Brees‘s game tying touchdown from last season that ultimately led to a overtime victory for the Saints and a 37-34 overtime victory for the Falcons in 2014 are some more highlights from the series that I will always remember.
I remember in the Thursday night matchup from the 2017 season when Sean Payton made a choke sign at Devonta Freeman to get under his skin, which obviously didn’t work because Freeman isn’t 10 years old. There’s a ton of animosity between the players, the coaches and the fans of both teams aimed at the opposing side, which makes this rivalry so special. These two teams and their fans genuinely hate each other.
The 2019 schedule sets up yet another Thanksgiving night match-up for the Falcons and Saints, with the game this time taking place in Atlanta. What better way for the Falcons vs Saints rivalry to shine than on Thanksgiving night for all NFL fans to watch. The best rivalry in the NFL being showcased annually on a special night is a fantastic idea that, as a Falcons fan, I can look forward to every season.