I received quite a bit of feedback indicating that we shouldn’t call this a rivalry series, because the Falcons only have a handful of true rivals. Message received, and so we’ll re-start this series with the moniker series, and dive in to this week’s opponent.
The Falcons and Washington have played 26 times in total, and Washington does lead the all-time series. When you consider the Falcons were brutally bad for much of their history and Washington was good-to-great through most of those years, that shouldn’t be a surprise.
As always, though, we’re asking what the defining moment in Washington-Atlanta history is.
Unfortunately, this is yet another series where the defining moment is not a happy one, at least for me. This is a series defined by one-sided dominance, with Washington winning nine out of the first 12 matchups and the Falcons winning seven of the last eight. There have been a number of blowouts in the series, too, but none have been more consequential or frustrating than the one that happened in early 1992.
The Falcons, you’ll recall, had beat the Saints in the playoffs, one of my favorite wins of all time. They ran into a buzzsaw in Washington, the team that would ultimately go on to win the Super Bowl, as Chris Miller threw four picks, Ricky Ervins and Earnest Byner ran over Atlanta to the tune of 160 yards on the ground, and Washington picked up four sacks. The defining moment of that game, in turn, was when former Falcons great Gerald Riggs punched in his second touchdown of the day to salt things away, and insult to injury and make this a true blowout. Atlanta ultimately lost 24-7.
That defines this series not only because it has stuck with me, but because it illustrates the way this series and these games have often gone, which involves something getting wildly out of hand and former Falcons being involved in it. See Hall, DeAngelo.
The good news? The Falcons have won their last six games in a row against Washington, and can run it to seven this coming Sunday.