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Falcons 101: Falcons-49ers series history

The Falcons have not had a lot of success against the 49ers over the years, but they have a chance to buck that trend this week.

Atlanta Falcons v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers are one of the the more storied franchises in the NFL and they have had some fantastic teams, obviously. If you want to see how successful the 49ers have been, take a look at their series record against the Atlanta Falcons.

Records in the series

The series between the 49ers and the Falcons goes all the way back to the Falcons’ first year in the league, 1966, when they were in the NFC West (I still don’t understand the logic there). Over that span, the two teams have played 78 games, two of which were playoff games, and one game ending in a tie.

Of the 77 games that ended with a winner and a loser, the 49ers have won 46 of the matchups, including the NFC Championship game in Atlanta in 2013. That includes the last three games in the series, and consists of a number of win streaks for three, four, or even five games.

Atlanta, on the other hand, has won 29 games in the series and the first playoff matchup of the series in the divisional round of the playoffs in 1999. The Falcons have two win streaks of four games and a few of three games, but they are much more rare in this series than San Francisco’s win streaks.

Biggest win, biggest loss

While the Falcons haven’t had too much success against the 49ers, they have a couple of games where they certainly got the best of San Francisco. The biggest win, by margin of victory, came on October 11, 2009 in San Francisco when they won by 35 points, 45-10.

The biggest loss, meanwhile, came in 1989 when the 49ers beat the Falcons 45-3 in San Francisco. There are also a couple of games where the 49ers got close to winning by that wide of a margin, but they’ve never topped the 42-point mark.

First game, last game

This is a new addition to this series where we will look at the first game of the series and then look at the most recent game in the series. Unfortunately, both of those were losses for the Falcons.

The first game was played on Oct. 16, 1966 in Atlanta, Ga. and the 49ers dominated the Falcons to the tune of 44 points, while holding Atlanta to only seven. The 49ers racked up five sacks and out-gained the Falcons 504 yards to 215 yards.

The most recent game in the series was one to forget. On Nov. 8, 2015 the 49ers beat the Falcons 17-16 in a game that saw Dan Quinn make perhaps his most notable mistake as a rookie head coach when he kicked a field goal from the one-yard-line rather than going for a touchdown on fourth and goal. The Falcons lost to Blaine Gabbert—that should be plenty.

Series quick hitters

  • Dan Quinn is 0-1 against the 49ers as a head coach, but this year teams are moving in very different directions than this time last year.
  • Matt Ryan is 2-2 in regular season games against San Francisco with a 68 percent completion rate, six touchdowns and five interceptions. In his one playoff game against them, he threw three touchdowns, one interception, and completed 71 percent of his passes in the loss.
  • Chip Kelly has not won a game against the Falcons as an NFL coach. He lost his lone game against the Falcons in the season opener as the head coach of the Eagles in 2015.

All stats and data are from unless otherwise stated.

The Falcons and 49ers play this Sunday at 4:05 p.m. EST. You can catch the game on FOX and listen to it on 92.9 The Game. Atlanta is currently favored by 13.5 points at home.