Two played and an ugly two in the loss column already for Atlanta. Their defeat in Tampa has now tied that all time series against their division rival.
This week, the Falcons have a meeting with the New York Giants. While this Atlanta vs. New York rivalry doesn’t exactly resemble the bitter competition between the Braves and Yankees in the ‘90s Major League Baseball, this matchup has given us some memorable games over the years.
Atlanta’s first victory in franchise history actually came against the Giants, in Week 11 of 1966. Here’s a bit of trivia — the team was quarterbacked by Randy Johnson, who led them to a 27-16 road victory that week. Since then, these teams have broken even in the all time season series to give the Falcons a very narrow 13-12 all time lead.
Atlanta couldn’t beat many teams in the 1960s and 1970s, but the Giants were one of the few teams whose number they had — Rankin Smith’s franchise went 5-1 against the G-Men between 1966 and 1978.
The margins have been as narrow as ever in recent times, with these teams fighting to a 3-3 standstill in the Matt Ryan era. The Falcons have won the previous two meetings, in 2015 and 2018 respectively.
Atlanta and New York have met in the playoffs just once, and it was a memorable nightmare in Atlanta sports history — the infamous 2-point game in the Divisional Round of the 2011 playoffs. Mike Smith’s group took a 2-0 lead with an early safety, and then did little else as the Giants ran way with a 24-2 victory which ended up being a big stain on the Smith era. New York went on to win the Super Bowl that season.
One of the more memorable regular season victories in the Ryan era came a year later, when Atlanta got a measure of revenge for that playoff embarrassment, in the form of a 34-0 shellacking. To this day, that stands as the last game in which the Falcons completely shut out their opponent.
The last time these teams met, America watched the Monday Night Football game in Week 7 of the 2018 season.
The Birds were looking to generate some momentum heading into the bye week after a 1-4 start, while the Giants went into the game also reeling at 1-5.
It was an early defensive struggle with nobody scoring until the second quarter, when Marvin Hall took the top off the defense with a 47-yard touchdown catch.
Following a rather uneventful first three quarters, where the score was 10-6, the fireworks really started in the fourth. Both teams combined for three touchdowns, and a few more field goals in that period as Atlanta came away with a 23-20 victory.
That game is one which I like to call the “Giorgio Tavecchio game.” With Matt Bryant nursing an injury, Tavecchio stepped in and had the type of performance which made the fanbase coronate him as Bryant’s heir apparent. Italian Ice went 3-3 on his field goals, including a 56-yard kick to make it a two possession game with less than two minutes remaining (and it was needed as the Giants marched downfield and scored what amounted to be a garbage time touchdown to Odell Beckham Jr.).
What’s your favorite moment from the all time Falcons-Giants series?