Three Notable Opening Weekend Games for the Atlanta Falcons

To celebrate the opening weekend of the NFL, we look back at three of the most memorable opening weekend games in Atlanta Falcons history.
New Orleans Saints v Atlanta Falcons
New Orleans Saints v Atlanta Falcons / Al Messerschmidt/GettyImages
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September 16, 1973- Atlanta Falcons dismantle New Orleans Saints to start first playoff push

While we're talking about the Saints, let's bring back this gem from the early Super Bowl era.

Amid the expansion struggles, there was one thing that the Falcons could depend on Beating the New Orleans Saints. After losing their initial meeting, the Falcons won the next nine meetings by an average score of 31-12.

The most memorable being a 62-7 shellacking of the Saints in Tulane Stadium. That 55-point margin is still the worst in Saints' history.

The Falcons' defense caused eight turnovers, including five interceptions for Hall of Fame quarterback Archie Manning. Cornerback Tom Hayes took two interceptions, including one that he returned 65 yards for a touchdown.

On the other side, quarterback Richard "Dick" Shiner went 13/15 for 227 yards and three touchdowns. At the time, he became only the tenth quarterback in NFL history to have a perfect passer rating of 158.3. The other nine? Fran Tarkenton, Craig Morton, Johnny Unitas, Joe Namath, Y.A. Tittle, Len Dawson, Otto Graham (twice), Sammy Baugh, and Ray Mallouf. Definitely great company to be in.