The Atlanta Falcons have welcomed the rare matchups against the Jacksonville Jaguars since their Floridian opponents’ inception in 1995. Overall, this is the NFL team against whom Atlanta has the third-fewest matchups but also one of the seven teams whom they have a winning record against, going 5-3 in eight head-to-head matchups.
The Jaguars were one of those rare teams that had nearly immediate success following its addition to the league as an expansion franchise — following an initial shaky season, they proceeded to make four straight playoff appearances, win two division titles, register a 14-win season and appear in two AFC Championship Games.
During those years of success, the Jags met the Falcons twice for their first two meetings against Atlanta and proceeded to beat them both times.
The turn of the millennia brought with it a turn in Jacksonville’s fortunes, as they have proceeded to register just five total winning seasons in the 23 years after 1999 (after four in four years between 1996-1999). Against the Falcons, they have gone 1-5, with the only win coming against a Joey Harrington quarterbacked squad in 2007. Probably not so coincidentally, the Jags have beaten Atlanta every time they’ve faced them in the midst of an above .500 season, and lost every time they were in the midst of finishing with a losing record.
Atlanta is in the midst of a four game winning streak against Jacksonville, which started with a 2011 victory. All of those games came during the Matt Ryan era.
The Falcons were coming off a five day stretch in the 2021 season where they were outscored 68-3 against the Patriots and Cowboys, and really needing something to go their way sitting at 4-6. The 2-8 Urban Meyer-led Jaguars represented a “get right” game on the schedule.
Cordarrelle Patterson was in the midst of a renaissance season in his first year as a Falcon and he continued that on this particular late November afternoon in Duval County, running for over 120 scrimmage yards and scampering into the end zone for the first two scores of the game.
Russell Gage added a third touchdown for Atlanta, who went up 21-3 in the third quarter and never trailed. The Jags made it interesting with back-to-back scoring drives to bring it back within one touchdown and they were given a final opportunity to try and tie the game but they ran out of juice, failing to move past their own 29-yard-line.
Atlanta went on to fall short of any playoff aspirations with a 7-10 record while Jacksonville saw out a miserable season at 3-14, securing the first overall pick for a second consecutive year and firing Meyer less than one full year into his tenure.