As two of the older (but not quite legacy) franchises in the NFL, the Falcons and Eagles have faced off in some heated games since the Falcons were established in 1965.
The Eagles hold a lead in the all time series, 20-15-1, and have gotten the better of Atlanta in the playoffs, holding a 3-1 overall lead in postseason play. That unfortunately includes three consecutive victories in 2003, 2005 and 2018. The ‘03 and ‘05 iterations of those games brought to a close the two most promising seasons for the Falcons of the Mike Vick era, as they could never get the better of the Donovan McNabb-led Eagles in postseason play.
I would be remiss if I did not bring up Atlanta’s first ever playoff victory, a 1978 upset which came against the Eagles on Christmas Eve, in this article talking about the all time head to head series. Philly punter turned kicker (because they refused to sign a kicker) Mike Michel missed two field goals and an extra point in a game the Falcons won 14-13.
One of the biggest regular season matchups between the two teams came in Week 2 of the 2011 season, when Mike Vick led the Eagles into the Georgia Dome for a past versus present showdown with Matt Ryan. Vick had made his official first return to Atlanta in the 2009 season, but in ‘11 he was the full fledged starter. The Falcons won a shootout in that one, 35-31, as Vick suffered an injury that kept him from finishing out the game.
The last time these teams faced off actually ended quite well for the Falcons. It was Atlanta’s home opener in the 2019 season and was played on Sunday Night Football. The Falcons used a 4th down Julio Jones screen pass which went for a touchdown to eke out a win and to break a string of three consecutive defeats against the Eagles in the series.
Ultimately, the Falcons would do nothing with that win, losing their next six consecutive games and dropping to 1-7 going into that season’s bye week. For me, personally, that win on Sunday night really felt like the last semblance of hope in the Dan Quinn era. That hope quickly faded when I saw the locker room celebrations embarrassingly resembling something of a Super Bowl victory, as this iteration of the Falcons would routinely get its butt kicked from that point forward until Quinn was finally fired.
Sunday night W ✅— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) September 16, 2019
Go off in the locker room ✅ pic.twitter.com/AfPL4JWhtJ
The Eagles also weren’t hindered by that defeat, as they still won a very weak NFC East with a 9-7 record that season, using four straight victories at the end of the campaign to propel themselves to the division title. The Falcons will hope to start this season 1-0 with a quieter celebration and a lot more victories than they managed in the first half of 2019.
What say you Falcons fans? What have been some of your favorite games from this series’ 36 games so far?