If Falcons-Saints is the best rivalry in the NFL—and you’d have to have a hell of a PowerPoint presentation to convince us otherwise—then Matt Ryan-Drew Brees is one of the best rivalries in league history. The numbers, as you might expect, do bear that out.
With the Falcons’ easy, breezy, beautiful 26-9 win over the Saints tonight, they moved to 9-13 against their hated rivals since 2008. During that time, Ryan and Brees have faced off 22 times, the most in modern NFL history for a quarterback duo.
Matt Ryan and Drew Brees have faced each other 22 times, the most in NFL history between two QBs.— Kevin Keneely (@KevinKeneely1) November 10, 2019
9 wins 13 wins
6,536 yds 6,901 yds
41 td 42 td
14 int 25 int pic.twitter.com/lOZ24XHzLI
The numbers are surprisingly close given that Brees has more wins, with the future Hall of Famer from the Saints managing nearly 400 more yards and one more touchdown than future Hall of Famer Ryan, but also having tossed 11 more interceptions over that span. If these guys had simply played each other a bunch of times it might not be all that noteworthy beyond the historic footnote, but these have largely been great games and very good performances from both men. For that reason alone, it deserves to be remembered as one of the great rivalries of the game, especially because I’m not sure it’s going to continue past the next year or two with Brees nearing the end of his illustrious career.
Most importantly, though, the Falcons won today and Brees didn’t have a great game at all. Let’s do this again on Thanksgiving.