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Falcons 101: Falcons-Packers playoff history

These two teams have met three times in the postseason, but the stakes have never been this high.

Green Bay Packers v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay Packers have played three times in the postseason: two Wildcard meetings and one Divisional matchup. Very few people that know anything about professional football would take the Falcons postseason history over the Packers (how many ringz?), and the history between both franchises in the playoffs would be a big point in that discussion.

The meetings

In the Falcons postseason history, they played the Packers three times. In those three games they are 1-2, losing the first wildcard matchup and the lone Divisional meeting between the two teams. Atlanta’s only win came on Jan. 4, 2003 in the Wildcard round of the playoffs. Let’s briefly take a look at each game.

The first postseason meeting between these teams was in the Wildcard round of the 1995 postseason. Atlanta traveled to Green Bay with a chance to advance to the divisional round of the playoffs, but were sent home early after they lost 37-20. Jeff George threw the ball 54 times and completed 30 of them for 366 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. Meanwhile, Brett Favre went 24-of-35 for 199 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions. Green Bay went on to lose to Dallas in the NFC Championship game.

Atlanta and Green Bay met again eight years later in the Wildcard round and the game was, once again, played in Green Bay. This time, though, the Falcons won and won handily, beating the Packers 27-7 behind a strong game from Michael Vick, Warrick Dunn, and T.J. Duckett. Favre also struggled much more than the previous postseason meeting, throwing for only one touchdown and two interceptions against Atlanta.

Finally, the most recent postseason matchup between the Packers and Falcons was on Jan. 15, 2011 in the Divisional round of the playoffs in the Georgia Dome. The Falcons had an excellent regular season and looked like legitimate contenders, but Aaron Rodgers was playing his best football and the Packers defense was incredibly opportunistic—Atlanta had its work cut out for it. With a trip to the NFC Championship on the line, the Falcons came out and looked really, really bad. The Falcons scored first via a Michael Turner run, but it was all Packers after that. The Falcons would lose the game 48-21 and watch the Packers move on to win the Super Bowl that year. (Side note: I was at that game and it was quite possibly the worst sports experience I’ve ever had.)

New meeting, higher stakes

This Sunday marks the first time these two teams have met each other with a direct line to the Super Bowl on the line and only the third conference championship in Atlanta Falcons history.

The Packers look a lot like that team that made the trip to Atlanta six years ago and scarred Atlanta sports fans for life, but the Atlanta team that will take the field, luckily, looks a lot better than the team that played in the divisional round in 2011. Atlanta is 1-2 against Green Bay and, no matter the winner, the games have all been decided by 10 points or more.

Atlanta has a chance to make it to the second Super Bowl in franchise history as the franchise closes the chapter in the Georgia Dome and moves into Mercedes-Benz Stadium next season. Green Bay, however, has a chance to make their fifth Super Bowl in the modern era.

These two franchises have been on very different paths since the Falcons’ inception in 1966, and when those paths have crossed in the postseason, the Packers have won two of the three meetings. Atlanta has a chance to get back to .500 against the Packers in the postseason and also win the biggest matchup between these two teams in their playoff history, punching their ticket to Super Bowl LI. The stakes have never been higher—does Atlanta cash in or do the Packers once again topple the Falcons in the postseason?

Let us know in the comments.

The Falcons and Packers play at 3:05 p.m. EST in Atlanta. The game can be seen on FOX and listened to on 92.9 The Game in Atlanta. At the time this article was written, the Falcons were favored by 4.5 points.

All stats and data are from Pro-Football Reference unless otherwise stated.