In all my years covering the Falcons for this august website, I can count on one hand the number of times something has gone so hilariously and perfectly against expectations as the time Warren Sapp predicted the Falcons would lose Week 1 of the 2012 season by a score of 41-0.
You may or may not recall how ludicrous this seemed, even at the time, and you may or may not remember how it adorned the cover of The Falcoholic Facebook page for years afterwards. Sapp was predicting that the Falcons, a playoff team in 2011, were going to be shut out by the Chiefs, a team with a new head coach that was fresh off of a 7-9 season.
The Falcons ruined the prediction early in this one, with an eight yard touchdown pass to Julio Jones, who had one of the best games of his young career with 8 catches, 106 yards, and two touchdowns. The Chiefs kept the proceedings relatively close in the first half, with the score at 20-17 Atlanta going into halftime, but the Falcons promptly scored another 20 points in the second half, while the Chiefs mustered just one touchdown. That 40-24 win was the team’s third-largest of the season, behind a Week 3 27-3 win over the Chargers and a 34-0 beatdown of the same Giants team that beat them in the playoffs the year before.
These Chiefs bear little resemblance to that incarnation, which had Jamaal Charles at the height of his powers and a more productive passing game, but a lesser defense.
No one expects a blowout this time—this Chiefs team is too good—but a victory here would kindle those fond memories anew, and it would put the Falcons at eight wins for the season, which would put them tantalizingly close to their first playoff berth since that 2012 season with four games to go. Let it be so.
If you’re looking to re-live that win, check out our game recap or Aaron Freeman and Allen Strk breaking it down last year.