For all the trash talking done by Saints fans about the result of last year’s Super Bowl, a game those fans watched from their couches just like their favorite players, it’s worth remembering that the all-time series between Atlanta and New Orleans decidedly favors one team. That team, as you surmised from the headline, is not the Saints.
The Falcons have a 51-45 edge over the Saints, a team that has three fewer wins all-time and has been to six fewer playoff games in their history. They beat them early, they beat them late, and they really only stopped beating them during the Mike Smith years, which was deeply unfortunate. The Falcons were 2-0 against the Saints a year en route to the Super Bowl, which should be the natural state of things.
Of course, this is a different year, and we don’t know what to expect. The Saints have played a tough schedule and have gotten markedly better on both offense and defense this year, while the Falcons have taken a step back thanks to a shakier offense and plenty of issues with execution. This being one of the best, most contentious rivalries in the NFL, nothing really will surprise me.
So, in summary: Yes, they’ve got a ring, but they’re still the little brother in this rivalry. May the Falcons make it win #52 on Thursday night.