For as bad as the Atlanta Falcons have been throughout the course of their history and for as good as the Green Bay Packers have been as one of those “gold standard” legacy teams, the series history really isn’t as lopsided as you may initially think.
The Packers do hold an overall lead of 19-16, but the primary difference in giving them that advantage was their initial five-game winning streak head-to-head between 1966 and 1970 when Atlanta was just starting out. All but one of those games were blowouts, including a 56-3 shellacking in the inaugural matchup in ‘66.
The Falcons bounced back by winning seven of the next 10 games through 1988, before the spoils were shared over the 10 games after that to the tune of a 5-5 record.
In more recent history, these teams have traded winning streaks since 2011 — Green Bay triumphing in four straight through 2014, Atlanta bouncing back with three consecutive wins (all at home) in 2016 and 2017 and then the Packers winning the last two matchups (both in Wisconsin) in 2018 and 2020.
These rivals are also 2-2 in playoff matchups, and all have been blowouts. Brett Favre led his 1995 team to a 37-20 home victory over Jeff George and Atlanta on Wildcard Weekend en route to a Super Bowl triumph. A young Michael Vick helped the Birds get a measure of revenge with a 27-7 road triumph in the 2002 rendition of that round.
The scene shifted to Atlanta a decade later, where Aaron Rodgers lead a 48-21 demolition in the 2010 Divisional Round en route to another Green Bay Super Bowl victory, before Matt Ryan got his revenge with a 44-21 win in the 2016 NFC Championship Game.
Going into this 2020 game, on Monday Night Football, it felt as if the 0-3 Falcons were a sacrificial lamb going into a slaughter at the hands of the 3-0 Packers, who had averaged over 40 points per game in those first three matchups and were enjoying home field advantage in this one.
Down 7-0 early in the game, Atlanta put together a 20-play drive which lasted nearly 10.5 minutes and only walked away with a field goal on it. After that, Green Bay stepped on their throat with three of their next four possessions resulting in Robert Tonyan touchdown catches.
Todd Gurley was the only Falcon to reach the end zone, doing so twice, but this game was never close following Tonyan’s first half flurry, as Atlanta never had the game within one possession again after his first score.
Another notable event in this game is that Green Bay’s Jaire Alexander held Calvin Ridley to 0 catches on five targets.
Much like everyone predicted, Atlanta fell to 0-4 and went on to have an awful 4-12 season. The Packers went to 4-0 en route to a 13-3 campaign, an NFC Championship appearance and an MVP season for Aaron Rodgers.