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Atlanta Falcons 101: History of the battle of the birds

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The Falcons and Eagles kick off the NFL season as Atlanta hopes to avoid a third consecutive loss to Doug Pederson and them boys.

Divisional Round - Atlanta Falcons v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

In a highly-anticipated game, the Atlanta Falcons are heading up to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles in a Thursday Night matchup to kick off the 2018 NFL season. The two squads have played each other 34 times since the series started in 1966, and has been fairly even over the last 52 years. Atlanta’s most recent loss is, however, perhaps the most meaningful of the entire series.

Enough about that unfortunate event for now. Let’s dive a little deeper in the series record.

14-19-1

Over the 52 years of this series, the Falcons have a 14-19-1 record against the Eagles and have dropped two consecutive games, and the majority of those losses have taken place in Philadelphia where Atlanta is 6-12-1. Not a great set of numbers by any means.

The two teams have always played one another well, based off not only the overall series record, but also the average margin of victory when these two teams meet. Over the 34 contests, the winning team only does so by a margin of about nine points. This series is close and the games have been even closer.

Falcons recent struggles

Prior to the game in 2016, the Falcons had a three-game winning streak and seemed to have settled in to some sustained success against Ben Franklin’s favorite pack of birds. However, we all know how that game went—for those that don’t know, the Eagles beat the Falcons by nine in a game that was not as close as the score would indicate.

Fast forward to January of 2018 when the Falcons and Eagles met in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs. In what many would call an ugly game that Atlanta could have—and should have—won, the Eagles overcame the Falcons, beating them by five on their way to winning the Super Bowl.

Dan Quinn has only coached against the Eagles three times but has not come away with a win since his regular season coaching debut in 2015. The Falcons beat the Eagles 26-24 in a thrilling Monday Night Football matchup.

Matty and the Eagles

Since arriving in the league in 2008, Matt Ryan owns a 3-4 record against Philly. The Falcons, however, have lost to the Eagles five times since 2008 but Ryan was recovering from injury in 2009.

In the six regular season games he has played, Ryan has completed 60 percent of his passes with 14 touchdowns and eight interceptions. In the single postseason game in January, he passed for 61 percent, a touchdown and no interceptions.

Series quick-hitters

  • Biggest loss: the Eagles beat the Falcons 38-7 on Oct. 8, 1967, a margin of 31 points.
  • Biggest win: Atlanta won a game in Philadelphia 27-3 on Dec. 14, 1969.
  • Philadelphia holds a 3-1 advantage in the postseason.
  • In any non-Sunday slot, the Falcons have beaten the Eagles three times in four games.
  • This is the first time the Falcons have played a team other than the New Orleans Saints or Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday night since they played Jacksonville in 2011.
  • Atlanta is 7-3 on Thursday Night Football

The Falcons head to Philadelphia on Thursday, September 6 at 8:20 p.m. EST on NBC. The game can be listened to on 92.9 The Game in Atlanta. Check back here for more coverage and postgame reaction!