Falcons–Saints rivalry

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Atlanta Falcons–New Orleans Saints
Atlanta Falcons wordmark.svg
Atlanta Falcons
New Orleans Saints wordmark.svg
New Orleans Saints
First meeting November 20, 1967
Saints 27, Falcons 24
Latest meeting September 23, 2018
Saints 43, Falcons 37 (OT)
Next meeting November 22, 2018
Meetings total 99 meetings
All-time series Atlanta 51–47
Postseason results

Atlanta: 1–0

  • December 28, 1991, Wild Card, Atlanta 27–20
Largest victory Atlanta: 62–7 (1973)
New Orleans: 38–0 (1987)
Longest win streak Atlanta: 10 (1995–1999)
New Orleans: 6 (1986–1989)
Current win streak New Orleans: 2
Championship success

Super Bowl championships (1)

  • New Orleans (1) – 2009
  • Atlanta (0)

Conference championships (3)

Division championships (12)

The Falcons–Saints rivalry is a divisional rivalry in the NFC South of the National Football League (NFL) between the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints. The series is by far the oldest and most established rivalry in the division. Founded one year apart, the Falcons and Saints were the first two NFL franchises in the Deep South (Washington, D.C., Dallas, Houston, and Miami being arguably southern but not in the "traditional" Deep South). They have shared some important players, such as kicker Morten Andersen (the leading scorer in New Orleans history), Bobby Hebert (who quarterbacked for both teams in the 1990s), and Joe Horn (the Pro Bowl Saints receiver who left for the Falcons in 2007). They have also drawn coaches from the same families, and even shared a head coach: recent Falcons coach Jim L. Mora is the son of longtime Saints coach Jim E. Mora, and former Saints and Falcons coach Wade Phillips is the son of former Saints coach Bum Phillips.

The series was rarely noted by the national media during the teams' first decades of existence, probably due to both teams' long stretches of futility. However, the September 25, 2006 match-up, which served as the Louisiana Superdome's official reopening after Hurricane Katrina, was considered a major milestone in New Orleans' and the Gulf Coast's recovery from the effects of the storm as well as the Saints' return to the city after their own year-long exile after the storm; the Saints later erected a statue outside the Superdome to commemorate their win in that game.

Games between the Falcons and Saints have riveted their respective regions for more than 40 years; fans of both teams consider the other their most important and hated opponent. ESPN.com writer Len Pasquarelli has cited the rivalry as one of the best in sports: "Every year, bus caravans loaded with rowdy (and usually very inebriated) fans make the seven-hour trip between the two cities. Unless you've attended a Falcons-Saints debauchery-filled afternoon, you'll just have to take my word for how much fun it really can be."[1]

Atlanta currently leads the all-time series 52-47 (51-47 regular season, 1-0 playoffs). Each team has appeared in the Super Bowl at least once, the Saints winning Super Bowl XLIV while the Falcons lost in Super Bowls XXXIII and in LI.

It began in 1967, the first year of play for the Saints, and press accounts from that game, including the Rome News-Tribune and Los Angeles Times, referred to it as the "Dixie Championship." In recent years, the game has sometimes been referred to as the "Southern Showdown." This has especially been the case leading up to the first of the two 2011 games, by WWL radio in New Orleans.

Beginning in 2017 (the 50th anniversary of the Saints franchise), both stadiums in Atlanta and New Orleans have the Mercedes-Benz moniker on them, and the Falcons-Saints rivalry will be nicknamed "The Mercedes-Benz Bowl."[citation needed]


Notable games in the series[edit]

  • The first time that the Saints made an appearance in the city of New Orleans was on September 9, 1967, in a pre-season game against Atlanta; the Saints won, 27–14. The two teams continued to play yearly in the pre-season until they became divisional opponents. A notable exception was on August 11, 1984, when the Saints took a 31–21 victory in New Orleans.
  • The rivalry first truly began to heat up when the two teams became divisional opponents in 1970, allowing them to play twice per season. Despite being located east of the Mississippi River, both relatively new expansion teams were placed in the National Football Conference's Western Division that year – a tough division that would often leave the two teams battling it out with each other just to stay out of last place.
  • Atlanta's 62-7 victory at Tulane Stadium in 1973 remains the most lopsided loss in Saints history. (Coincidentally, the Saints were involved in the only other 62-7 final in an NFL regular season game, crushing the Indianapolis Colts at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on October 23, 2011.[2])
  • A pair of consecutive last-minute wins by Atlanta in 1978 with playoff implications helped to intensify the rivalry even further. With the Falcons down 17-13 in a late-season match-up at the Superdome and only 0:19 left on the clock, Falcons quarterback Steve Bartkowski aired a Hail Mary pass (called in the playbook "Big Ben Right") down to the end zone; the ball was tipped by Falcons receiver Wallace Francis into the hands of his teammate Alfred Jackson, giving the Falcons a 20-17 victory. The teams met again two weeks later in Atlanta. Once again, the Falcons trailed 17-13, with only :53 on the clock and on their own 28-yard line; Bartkowski led the team down the field and scored with only five seconds left, stunning the Saints for the second time in 3 weeks and propelling the Falcons to their very first wild card playoff berth: the Falcons finished 9-7, while the Saints finished 7-9; the two last-second victories had decided the final 1978 playoffs slot.
  • After a third straight wild win by Atlanta (this time in overtime) to open the 1979 season,[3] the Saints had had enough and blew out the Falcons in the second of the two 1979 games, 37–6.[4]
  • The only postseason meeting to date in the Falcons–Saints rivalry was played in the wild card playoff round on December 28, 1991, at the Superdome. The Saints entered the 1991 playoffs as the NFC West champions while the Falcons were a wild card team. Atlanta won the game on the road, 27-20, as Falcons quarterback Chris Miller threw the game-winning 61-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Michael Haynes with 2:41 left in the fourth quarter. To add insult to injury, Haynes is a New Orleans native.
  • In the midst of New Orleans' troubled 2005 season in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, they suffered a loss at San Antonio to the Falcons on October 16. The Saints raced to a 10-3 lead in the second quarter before a fumble was returned by DeAngelo Hall of the Falcons for a 66-yard touchdown and a tie game. On the final play of the second quarter, the Falcons blocked a field goal try and Demorrio Williams ran back a 59-yard touchdown. An exchange of six touchdowns ensued and Devery Henderson caught a 15-yard game-tying score, leaving the game 31-31 in the final minute of regulation. A penalty on the Saints helped the Falcons set up Todd Peterson's 36-yard field goal on the final play, ending a 34-31 Falcons win. Saints coach Jim Haslett was so angry over the late penalty that he repeatedly ripped the "chickenshit" calls by referee Bill Carollo and his crew.[citation needed]
  • The Falcons were the opponent in the Saints' first game in the Superdome after Hurricane Katrina, held on September 25, 2006. The Saints won the nationally televised match 23–3; the game was the highest-rated program in the history of ESPN and the second-highest-rated cable program of all time. Early in the first quarter, Saints safety Steve Gleason blocked a punt by Falcons kicker Michael Koenen and Curtis Deloatch recovered the ball in the Falcons' end zone for a Saints touchdown. It was the first score in the Saints' first game in New Orleans in nearly 21 months, during which time Hurricane Katrina had devastated the city and the team. The Saints dominated the game and went on to have the most successful season in their history up to that time. In July 2012, "Rebirth", a statue depicting Gleason blocking the punt, was erected outside the Superdome; a news report commented that the blocked punt "etched Steve Gleason into Saints lore and became symbolic of New Orleans' resilience in the face of disaster".[5]
  • The Falcons hosted the Saints on November 26, 2006, at the Georgia Dome. Michael Vick rushed for 166 yards but threw for only 84 yards while Drew Brees of the Saints threw for 349 yards (a week after a 510-yard performance against the Cincinnati Bengals), including a 48-yard heave to Terrance Copper caught in heavy traffic in the Falcons end zone for a Saints touchdown. The Saints routed the Falcons 31–13, and after the game, Vick flashed an obscene gesture to booing Falcons fans.
  • The Saints were on a quest for an undefeated season in 2009 when, on November 2, they hosted the Falcons on Monday Night Football. Atlanta led 14-7 after one quarter. New Orleans then erupted with 21 second quarter points and held off a late Atlanta comeback effort when a Darren Sharper intercepted a Matt Ryan pass at the Saints 5, ending a 35-27 Saints win. The win raised New Orleans to a 13-0 record; the Saints then dropped their last 3 regular season games before sweeping through the playoffs on their way to winning the Super Bowl.
  • In the 2010 season, both games had important implications for the playoff race. The Falcons won a week 3 match-up at the Superdome 27-24 in overtime (after Saints kicker Garrett Hartley made a last-second field goal to tie the game in regulation, but then missed another kick that would have won it in overtime). The win gave Atlanta an advantage in the standings that the Falcons retained all season. In the Week 16 rematch, the teams met for the fifth time in six seasons on Monday Night Football, with the NFC South title still on the line; in a typically close game the Saints held on for a 17-14 win, clinching a playoff berth (the Falcons won the following week to earn the top seed in the NFC; both teams then were then upset in their opening playoff games, New Orleans losing to the underdog Seattle Seahawks 41-36 in the wild-card round, while Atlanta was routed by the eventual Super Bowl XLV champion Green Bay Packers in the divisional round 48-21).
  • In the 2011 season, both teams met again for a Monday Night Football match-up. Like the previous season, playoff implications were at stake for both teams, however, in a near-inverse of the 2010 meeting, New Orleans, entered Week 16 with an 11-3 record with a playoff berth already clinched, were in better position to win the NFC South division title, and needed a win in one of their final two games or an Atlanta loss in one of their final two games to clinch the division title, while Atlanta, entering Week 16 with a 9-5 record, needed to win out as well as for New Orleans to lose against Carolina in Week 17 to repeat as NFC South champions. A major historical aspect of this game was Saint Drew Brees' pursuit of Dan Marino's single season record for passing yards, 5084, set in 1984. Entering the game with 4780 yards, Brees needed only 305 in his final two games to obtain the record. Atlanta received the opening kickoff and quickly jumped out to a 3-0 lead but the Saints immediately responded with an 84-yard touchdown drive sparked by Brees' 38-yard completion to Lance Moore on the drive's first play. Brees would end the first quarter with 66 yards. By halftime, Brees was within 75 yards of the record with 230 yards in the first half, thanks in large part to the 164 yards he notched in the second quarter, which lifted the Saints to a 21-10 lead. Despite only having 45 yards in the third quarter, Brees managed to help the Saints extend their lead to 31-13 and he entered the fourth quarter 30 yards shy of Marino's record. The fourth quarter was somewhat atypical of how the Saints had played during the first three quarters in that they punted for the first time in the game and were held to a three-and-out for the third straight possession dating back to the third quarter when they had to settle for a field goal after failing to get a first down following Darren Sproles' 92-yard kickoff return which set them up with excellent field position at the Atlanta 14-yard line. Continuing the breaking of trends was the Saints' defense, which came into the game having forced the fewest turnovers of any defense in the league. That improved when linebacker Scott Shanle stripped the football from Falcons' wide receiver Julio Jones at the Falcons' 35-yard line and Saints' free safety Malcolm Jenkins grabbed the ball bouncing off the turf in stride and ran 30 yards down the sideline for a touchdown, extending the lead to 38-16. With zero completions or yards through the Saints' first two fourth-quarter possessions, it appeared uncertain if Brees would be able to get the record in front of a national audience in prime time but after the Saints' defense succeeded in stopping the Falcons on fourth down for the second straight possession and having taken over at the Falcons' 32-yard line with Brees needing just 30 for the record, the stage was set for history. On the ensuing drive, Brees completed a 12-yard pass to Marques Colston and an 11-yarder to Devery Henderson, coming to within 7 yards of the record. After an incomplete pass on first and goal from the Falcons' 9-yard line, Brees connected with running back Darren Sproles at the 1-yard line by the left hash mark and he carried it into the end zone, completing the quest for the record with Brees at 5087 yards through 15 games and capping off the scoring for the game with the Saints winning 45–16 and clinching the NFC South division title, their third since Sean Payton became head coach in 2006 and fifth in franchise history. Brees ended the night completing 23 of his 39 passing attempts for 307 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions; it was also his 12th game of the season with at least 300 yards passing, an NFL record.
  • In 2012, the Saints struggled through a down year after incurring heavy league penalties from their bounty scandal, but the Saints still managed to hand the Falcons their first loss of the season, 31–27 at the Superdome in week 10. Three weeks later, airport workers in Atlanta egged the Saints' charter bus when the Saints arrived in Atlanta for their game against the Falcons. Drew Brees threw 5 interceptions and his record of consecutive games with a touchdown pass was snapped as the Falcons controlled the rematch 23-13.[6] (The Falcons went on to earn the top seed in the NFC for the second time in three years.)
  • In 2013, the teams met in a highly promoted[citation needed] opening-week match-up. The Saints held off a last-second Atlanta drive to win 23–17, then went on to win their first five games while the Falcons, hampered by injuries, unexpectedly[citation needed] suffered through a loss-filled campaign. In the rematch, a Thursday night prime time game, the Saints again held on to win another narrow victory, 17–13, marked by Brees moving past Warren Moon into fifth place on the all-time career passing list.
  • The January 1, 2017 match-up was the final regular season NFL game played in the Georgia Dome. In the Falcons' 38–32 victory over the Saints, Atlanta clinched the second seed in the playoffs. After the Falcons defeated the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers defeating the top-seeded Dallas Cowboys in the Divisional Round, the 2016 NFC Championship Game between the Falcons and Packers was the final overall NFL game played in the Georgia Dome, where the Falcons defeated the Packers to secure their second all-time Super Bowl appearance.
  • On December 7, 2017 the New Orleans Saints played their first game against the Atlanta Falcons at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. With the Falcons leading 20-17, Saints quarterback Drew Brees was intercepted by linebacker (and New Orleans native) Deion Jones in the end zone with less than two minutes remaining in regulation. New Orleans still had the possibility of gaining another possession but that ended when Saints Head Coach Sean Peyton was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct for running onto the field and arguing with a game official. The penalty gave Atlanta a first down allowing the Falcons to keep possession and win the game 20-17.
  • On September 23, 2018 New Orleans beat Atlanta at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in overtime, 43-37, after nine lead changes throughout the game. Matt Ryan completed 26 of 35 attempts for 374 yards and a career high 5 touchdowns. Drew Brees completed 39 of 49 pass attempts for 396 yards and 3 touchdowns and also rushed for 2 touchdowns. Brees would break Brett Favre's NFL record for most career completions with 6,326.

Individual game results[edit]

This is a list of results from all of the meetings between the Saints and Falcons from their first meeting in 1967 to the present.

Saints victory Falcons victory Postseason game
Date Site Winning team Losing team Series
November 20, 1967 Tulane Stadium Saints 27 Falcons 24 NO, 1-0
December 7, 1969 Atlanta Stadium Falcons 45 Saints 17 Tied, 1-1
September 20, 1970 Tulane Stadium Falcons 14 Saints 3 ATL, 2-1
October 25, 1970 Atlanta Stadium Falcons 32 Saints 14 ATL, 3-1
October 24, 1971 Atlanta Stadium Falcons 28 Saints 6 ATL, 4-1
December 19, 1971 Tulane Stadium Falcons 24 Saints 20 ATL, 5-1
October 15, 1972 Tulane Stadium Falcons 21 Saints 14 ATL, 6-1
November 12, 1972 Atlanta Stadium Falcons 36 Saints 20 ATL, 7-1
September 16, 1973 Tulane Stadium Falcons 62 Saints 7 ATL, 8-1
December 16, 1973 Atlanta Stadium Falcons 14 Saints 10 ATL, 9-1
September 29, 1974 Tulane Stadium Saints 14 Falcons 13 ATL, 9-2
October 20, 1974 Atlanta Stadium Saints 13 Falcons 3 ATL, 9-3
October 5, 1975 Atlanta Stadium Falcons 14 Saints 7 ATL, 10-3
November 2, 1975 Louisiana Superdome Saints 23 Falcons 7 ATL, 10-4
October 10, 1976 Louisiana Superdome Saints 30 Falcons 0 ATL, 10-5
October 31, 1976 Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium Falcons 23 Saints 20 ATL, 11-5
November 20, 1977 Louisiana Superdome Saints 21 Falcons 20 ATL, 11-6
December 18, 1977 Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium Falcons 35 Saints 7 ATL, 12-6
November 12, 1978 Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium Falcons 20 Saints 17 ATL, 13-6
November 26, 1978 Louisiana Superdome Falcons 20 Saints 17 ATL, 14-6
September 2, 1979 Louisiana Superdome Falcons 40 Saints 34 ATL, 15-6
November 25, 1979 Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium Saints 37 Falcons 6 ATL, 15-7
October 19, 1980 Louisiana Superdome Falcons 41 Saints 14 ATL, 16-7
November 16, 1980 Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium Falcons 31 Saints 13 ATL, 17-7
September 6, 1981 Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium Falcons 27 Saints 0 ATL, 18-7
November 1, 1981 Louisiana Superdome Falcons 41 Saints 10 ATL, 19-7
December 12, 1982 Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium Falcons 35 Saints 0 ATL, 20-7
January 2, 1983
(postponed from October 31)
Louisiana Superdome Saints 35 Falcons 6 ATL, 20-8
October 9, 1983 Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium Saints 19 Falcons 17 ATL, 20-9
November 6, 1983 Louisiana Superdome Saints 27 Falcons 10 ATL, 20-10
September 2, 1984 Louisiana Superdome Falcons 36 Saints 28 ATL, 21-10
November 11, 1984 Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium Saints 17 Falcons 13 ATL, 21-11
October 20, 1985 Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium Falcons 31 Saints 24 ATL, 22-11
December 22, 1985 Louisiana Superdome Falcons 16 Saints 10 ATL, 23-11
September 7, 1986 Louisiana Superdome Falcons 31 Saints 10 ATL, 24-11
December 14, 1986 Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium Saints 14 Falcons 9 ATL, 24-12
September 27, 1987
Louisiana Superdome ATL, 24-12
November 1, 1987 Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium Saints 38 Falcons 0 ATL, 24-13
September 11, 1988 Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium Saints 29 Falcons 21 ATL, 24-14
December 18, 1988 Louisiana Superdome Saints 10 Falcons 9 ATL, 24-15
October 29, 1989 Louisiana Superdome Saints 20 Falcons 13 ATL, 24-16
November 19, 1989 Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium Saints 26 Falcons 17 ATL, 24-17
October 7, 1990 Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium Falcons 28 Saints 27 ATL, 25-17
November 25, 1990 Louisiana Superdome Saints 10 Falcons 7 ATL, 25-18
September 29, 1991 Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium Saints 27 Falcons 6 ATL, 25-19
November 24, 1991 Louisiana Superdome Falcons 23 Saints 20 ATL, 26-19
December 28, 1991 Louisiana Superdome Falcons 27 Saints 20 ATL, 27-19
September 20, 1992 Georgia Dome Saints 10 Falcons 7 ATL, 27-20
December 3, 1992 Louisiana Superdome Saints 22 Falcons 14 ATL, 27-21
September 12, 1993 Georgia Dome Saints 34 Falcons 31 ATL, 27-22
October 24, 1993 Louisiana Superdome Falcons 26 Saints 15 ATL, 28-22
November 13, 1994 Louisiana Superdome Saints 33 Falcons 32 ATL, 28-23
December 11, 1994 Georgia Dome Saints 29 Falcons 20 ATL, 28-24
September 15, 1995 Louisiana Superdome Falcons 27 Saints 24 ATL, 29-24
December 10, 1995 Georgia Dome Falcons 19 Saints 14 ATL, 30-24
September 22, 1996 Louisiana Superdome Falcons 28 Saints 14 ATL, 31-24
November 17, 1996 Georgia Dome Falcons 17 Saints 15 ATL, 32-24
October 12, 1997 Louisiana Superdome Falcons 23 Saints 17 ATL, 33-24
November 23, 1997 Georgia Dome Falcons 20 Saints 3 ATL, 34-24
October 18, 1998 Georgia Dome Falcons 31 Saints 23 ATL, 35-24
December 13, 1998 Louisiana Superdome Falcons 27 Saints 17 ATL, 36-24
October 10, 1999 Louisiana Superdome Falcons 20 Saints 17 ATL, 37-24
December 5, 1999 Georgia Dome Falcons 35 Saints 12 ATL, 38-24
October 22, 2000 Georgia Dome Saints 21 Falcons 19 ATL, 38-25
December 27, 2000 Louisiana Superdome Saints 23 Falcons 7 ATL, 38-26
October 21, 2001 Louisiana Superdome Falcons 20 Saints 13 ATL, 39-26
December 9, 2001 Georgia Dome Saints 28 Falcons 10 ATL, 39-27
October 27, 2002 Louisiana Superdome Falcons 37 Saints 35 ATL, 40-27
November 17, 2002 Georgia Dome Falcons 24 Saints 21 ATL, 41-27
October 19, 2003 Georgia Dome Saints 45 Falcons 17 ATL, 41-28
November 16, 2003 Louisiana Superdome Saints 23 Falcons 20 ATL, 41-29
November 28, 2004 Georgia Dome Falcons 24 Saints 21 ATL, 42-29
December 26, 2004 Louisiana Superdome Saints 26 Falcons 13 ATL, 42-30
October 16, 2005 Alamodome
(moved from Louisiana Superdome)
Falcons 34 Saints 31 ATL, 43-30
December 12, 2005 Georgia Dome Falcons 36 Saints 17 ATL, 44-30
September 25, 2006 Louisiana Superdome Saints 23 Falcons 3 ATL, 44-31
November 26, 2006 Georgia Dome Saints 31 Falcons 13 ATL, 44-32
October 21, 2007 Louisiana Superdome Saints 22 Falcons 16 ATL, 44-33
December 10, 2007 Georgia Dome Saints 34 Falcons 14 ATL, 44-34
November 9, 2008 Georgia Dome Falcons 34 Saints 20 ATL, 45-34
December 7, 2008 Louisiana Superdome Saints 29 Falcons 25 ATL, 45-35
November 2, 2009 Louisiana Superdome Saints 35 Falcons 27 ATL, 45-36
December 14, 2009 Georgia Dome Saints 26 Falcons 23 ATL, 45-37
September 26, 2010 Louisiana Superdome Falcons 27 Saints 24 ATL, 46-37
December 27, 2010 Georgia Dome Saints 17 Falcons 14 ATL, 46-38
November 13, 2011 Georgia Dome Saints 26 Falcons 23 ATL, 46-39
December 26, 2011 Mercedes-Benz Superdome Saints 45 Falcons 16 ATL, 46-40
November 11, 2012 Mercedes-Benz Superdome Saints 31 Falcons 27 ATL, 46-41
November 29, 2012 Georgia Dome Falcons 23 Saints 13 ATL, 47-41
September 8, 2013 Mercedes-Benz Superdome Saints 23 Falcons 17 ATL, 47-42
November 21, 2013 Georgia Dome Saints 17 Falcons 13 ATL, 47-43
September 7, 2014 Georgia Dome Falcons 37 Saints 34 ATL, 48-43
December 21, 2014 Mercedes-Benz Superdome Falcons 30 Saints 14 ATL, 49-43
October 15, 2015 Mercedes-Benz Superdome Saints 31 Falcons 21 ATL, 49-44
January 3, 2016 Georgia Dome Saints 20 Falcons 17 ATL, 49-45
September 26, 2016 Mercedes-Benz Superdome Falcons 45 Saints 32 ATL, 50-45
January 1, 2017 Georgia Dome Falcons 38 Saints 32 ATL, 51-45
December 7, 2017 Mercedes-Benz Stadium Falcons 20 Saints 17 ATL, 52-45
December 24, 2017 Mercedes-Benz Superdome Saints 23 Falcons 13 ATL, 52-46
September 23, 2018 Mercedes-Benz Stadium Saints 43 Falcons 37 ATL, 52-47
November 22, 2018 Mercedes-Benz Superdome

Pre-season games[edit]

The Saints and Falcons have met four times in pre-season games, most recently in 1984. The games have been played one time in Atlanta and three times in New Orleans, and overall the Saints lead, 3–1. The home teams have always won, including in the September 9, 1967 game—which was the first-ever meeting between the two teams on the field, and was also the first-ever appearance of the Saints in the city of New Orleans.

Year Site Winning team Result
1967 Tulane Stadium Saints 27-14
1968 Atlanta Stadium Falcons 16-10
1969 Tulane Stadium Saints 21-17
1984 Louisiana Superdome Saints 31-21

Postseason games[edit]

The Saints and Falcons have met one time in a postseason game, in 1991. The game was played in New Orleans, and the Falcons won, 27–20.

Overtime games[edit]

The Saints and Falcons have met eight times in games that have gone into overtime, most recently in 2018. The games have been played three times in Atlanta and five times in New Orleans, and overall the Falcons lead, 5–3.

Year Site Winning team Result
1979 Louisiana Superdome Falcons 40-34
1991 Louisiana Superdome Falcons 23-20
1995 Louisiana Superdome Falcons 27-24
2003 Louisiana Superdome Saints 23-20
2010 Louisiana Superdome Falcons 27-24
2011 Georgia Dome Saints 26-23
2014 Georgia Dome Falcons 37-34
2018 Mercedes-Benz Stadium Saints 43-37

Prime time games[edit]

Counting Monday Night Football, Sunday Night Football, and Thursday Night Football, the Saints hold a 9-5 lead in regular season prime time games.

Monday Night Football games[edit]

The Saints and Falcons have met seven times in Monday Night Football games, most recently in 2016. The games have been played three times in Atlanta and four times in New Orleans, and overall the Saints lead, 5–2.

The 2006 match-up, the first game played in the Superdome after Hurricane Katrina, was the second highest-rated cable television broadcast of all time, a mark that has since been surpassed. The 2010 contest drew 19.1 million viewers on ESPN, making it the most watched cable broadcast of 2010.[7]

Year Site Winning team Result
2005 Georgia Dome Falcons 36-17
2006 Louisiana Superdome Saints 23-3
2007 Georgia Dome Saints 34-14
2009 Louisiana Superdome Saints 35-27
2010 Georgia Dome Saints 17-14
2011 Mercedes-Benz Superdome Saints 45-16
2016 Mercedes-Benz Superdome Falcons 45-32

Sunday Night Football games[edit]

The Saints and Falcons have met two times in Sunday Night Football games, most recently in 1994. The games have been played one time in Atlanta and one time in New Orleans, and overall it is tied, 1–1.

Year Site Winning team Result
1991 Louisiana Superdome Falcons 23-20
1994 Georgia Dome Saints 29-20

Thursday Night Football games[edit]

The Saints and Falcons have met five times in Thursday Night Football games, most recently in 2017. The games have been played three times in Atlanta and two times in New Orleans, and overall the Saints lead, 3–2.

Year Site Winning team Result
1992 Louisiana Superdome Saints 22-14
2012 Georgia Dome Falcons 23-13
2013 Georgia Dome Saints 17-13
2015 Mercedes-Benz Superdome Saints 31-21
2017 Mercedes-Benz Stadium Falcons 20-17
2018 Mercedes-Benz Superdome

Thanksgiving Day games[edit]

The Saints and Falcons will meet for the first time in a Thanksgiving Day game in 2018. The game will be played in New Orleans.


  1. ^ Pasquarelli, Len (August 15, 2006). "Super Bowl or bowl games? Enough said". ESPN.com.
  2. ^ "All Games in NFL History with a 62 to 7 score"
  3. ^ "Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints - September 2nd, 1979". pro-football-reference.com. Retrieved 2018-10-08.
  4. ^ "New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons - November 25th, 1979". pro-football-reference.com. Retrieved 2018-10-08.
  5. ^ "Steve Gleason statue unveiled", Associated Press at ESPN.com, July 28, 2012.
  6. ^ http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/2012112900/2012/REG13/saints@falcons
  7. ^ "2011 NFL Broadcasting Guide (Cont.)". CNN. September 6, 2011.