When the Falcons and Saints meet on Thanksgiving night, it will be the 100th regular season game between the two teams. That’s the kind of nice round number that’s sure to come up on the broadcast, and it adds a little extra weight to a game the Falcons are widely expected to lose.
There’s a lot of chest-thumping and familiar insults in this rivalry, but minus that damn Super Bowl win for the Saints, these two teams have pretty similar histories. They were awful for decades upon decades, decent for a while, and close to great over the last 15 years or so. The Falcons have been to a Super Bowl twice (both losses), the Saints once (a win, again, ugh), and each of them have six division titles in their franchise history.
If we’re narrowing things just to the rivalry itself, though, the Falcons are the clear winners. They have the most lopsided win in the rivalry’s history, they own a current 52-47 record against the Saints, they beat New Orleans in the two teams’ only playoff matchup, and they have won more times in the last five seasons (5-4). Unfortunately, the Saints are riding a two game winning streak coming into this one, and they’re very obviously the superior team in 2018.
We’ll hope the Falcons can run their all-time record against the Saints to 53-47 and hand New Orleans an annoying if not costly loss in the NFC South. As I said earlier, it’s just a moral victory, but it’s one we’d all very much like to have.