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this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; GAME PREVIEW atlantafalcons.com -Download the Falcons Preview Pack, filled with up-to-the-minute stats, information on the Falcons-Saints matchup, history and much, much more! -Major local newspaper coverage: AJC | New Orleans Times-Picayune -The meeting between the Falcons and the Saints will ...

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Old 11-24-2006, 06:50 AM   #1
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Saints-Falcons Preview (atlantafalcons.com)



-Download the Falcons Preview Pack, filled with up-to-the-minute stats, information on the Falcons-Saints matchup, history and much, much more!

-Major local newspaper coverage: AJC | New Orleans Times-Picayune

-The meeting between the Falcons and the Saints will be the 75th between the clubs in the regular season - the most vs. any one opponent in Atlanta history. The Falcons lead the all-time series, 43-31.

-The Falcons are 16-7 (.696) vs. the Saints since 1995.

- In the last meeting between the teams on Sept. 25 in the Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans beat the Falcons, 23-3 in the return of the Saints to the Superdome for the first time in the regular season since 2004. Saints QB Drew Brees threw for 197 yards and RB Deuce McAllister ran for 81 yards in the New Orleans victory.

-In the last game in the Georgia Dome on December 12, 2005, the Falcons beat the Saints, 36-17. In that game, Atlanta QB Michael Vick threw a 54-yard TD pass and ran for two other scores in the victory.

-The Falcons are the only team in the league with two players with over 700 yards in rushing -- RB Warrick Dunn (813 yards) and Vick (704 yards).

-Vick is 5-1 (.833) vs. New Orleans with 12 TDs (6 passing, 6 rushing). In the last three games at home vs. the Saints, he is 3-0 with four rushing TDs and at least one TD in all three games.

-The Falcons are 13-3-1 (.794) when Vick rushes for a touchdown in a contest and ranks second in the NFL for most 20+ yard rushes (eight).

- Dunn has three 100-yard rushing games vs. the Saints and is just 61 yards shy of becoming the all-time leading rusher against New Orleans by any opponent player (924; Eric Dickerson 984).

-Falcons RB Jerious Norwood leads the NFL with 270 rushing yards in the fourth quarter.

-Atlanta TE Alge Crumpler leads all NFL tight ends with nine catches of 20+ yards and has five TDs in his last five games.

-Falcons WR Michael Jenkins has a TD in four of his last five games.

-Atlanta CB DeAngelo Hall has 308 return yards on 10 interceptions since the start of the 2005 season -- the most in the NFL over that span..

-New Orleans QB Drew Brees had his ninth career 500-yard passing game last week (510 yards) in a loss at home to Cincinnati. He has 908 passing yards in the last two games, which is the third-highest two-game total in NFL history. He is working on a streak of four straight 300+ yard games.

-Saints RB Deuce McAllister has rushed for 100 or more yards in four of the last five meetings vs. Atlanta and in five of the last seven against the Falcons.

-The Falcons are +6 in turnover ratio (tied for third in the NFC) while the Saints are -9 in the same category.



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Old 11-24-2006, 06:54 AM   #2
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Southern Tradition: Saints vs. Falcons (atlantafalcons.com)

Falcons, Saints renew NFL's Southern Tradition for 75th time

By Chris Pika, AF.com
November 21, 2006

The NFL's version of an old southern tradition will be renewed once again this Sunday as the Atlanta Falcons do battle with the New Orleans Saints for the 75th time in the regular season.

It started in the Saints' first season of 1967. The Falcons lead the all-time regular season series, 43-31 and Atlanta also owns a 27-20 victory over New Orleans in the 1991 NFC Playoffs.

For the record, New Orleans won the first game ever between the teams, 27-24 in Tulane Stadium on November 26, 1967. The Saints would not win again for seven years (the clubs did not play in 1968) as the Falcons reeled off nine straight victories over their bitter rivals.

The two franchises did not start out as divisional rivals. Before the advent of the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, Atlanta began their NFL life in the Eastern Conference in 1966. From 1967-69, the Saints moved from the Capitol Division to the Century Division back to the Capitol while the Falcons were placed in the Coastal Division of the Western Conference (with the Baltimore Colts, Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers).

In 1970, with the merger of the competing leagues in place, the Falcons and the Saints took up residence in the NFC West with the Rams and 49ers.

From that point forward, the teams would play twice yearly (except for the strike-shortened 1987 season) and game weeks in the series became highly-anticipated affairs in both cities.

Atlanta, as part of that nine-game win streak, swept the season series from 1970-73. The Saints would break the string with a sweep in 1974 and then the teams settled into a period of splitting the two-game set over the next three seasons (1975-77).

From 1978-81, Atlanta won seven-of-eight from their rivals including three sweeps (1978, 80, 81). The Saints would return the favor with a six-game win streak from the final meeting in 1986 through 1989.

The first-ever road playoff victory for the Falcons came at the expense of the Saints, 27-20 in New Orleans on December 28, 1991 in the NFC Wild Card Game.

There was an unprecedented period of dominance for the Falcons from 1995-99 as Atlanta won 10 straight over New Orleans -- the worst stretch for the Saints against any one opponent in their history.

In 2002, the clubs moved together as the NFL restructured into eight four-team divisions. Atlanta and New Orleans were placed into the more geographically correctly-named NFC South with Tampa Bay and Carolina as long-time division foes San Francisco and St. Louis (the former L.A. Rams) moved to the NFC West.

Since then, the Falcons have swept their rivals twice (2002 and 2005) and lead the NFC South segment of the all-time series, 5-4.

Fans on both sides can always count on close, hard-fought battles as 37 of the 74 previous games have been decided by one score or less while four have gone to overtime.

Some of the Falcons highlights in the series include:

image December 7, 1969: RB Harmon Wages had a game to remember in a 45-17 rout of the Saints in Tulane Stadium as he threw for a TD in the first quarter, caught a pass for a TD in the second quarter and ran for a score in the fourth quarter.

image December 19, 1971: WR Ken Burrow catches a TD pass from QB Bob Berry with 40 seconds left as the Falcons stun the Saints, 24-20 in Tulane Stadium. The victory gives the Falcons their first-ever winning record at 7-6-1.

image September 16, 1973: The Falcons punish their rivals in Tulane Stadium, 62-7 as Atlanta sets 35 team records in the rout.

image November 12, 1978: The "Big Ben Right" game - The Falcons trailed, 17-6 at their own 20-yard line in the Louisiana Superdome with 2:23 remaining in the game. An 80-yard march for a score with 59 seconds to play pulled the margin to 17-13. With 19 seconds to go, QB Steve Bartkowski lofted a 57-yard pass into a cluster of players and WR Alfred Jackson (with help from a deflection by WR Wallace Francis) came up with the ball and the touchdown for a 20-17 victory.

image November 24, 1991: On national TV at the Superdome, the Falcons rallied from a 10-point deficit in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter to tie the game at 20-20. In overtime, QB Chris Miller hit WR Michael Haynes for a 54-yard completion that set up the game-winning 50-yard field goal by K Norm Johnson.

image December 29, 1991: The only playoff game ever between the teams winds up as the Falcons' first-ever road playoff victory. The Falcons rallied from a 10-point deficit to win, 27-20 in the Superdome. Haynes scored a pair of TDs, including the game-winning 61-yard reception in the fourth quarter.

image September 17, 1995: K Morten Andersen, who was released by the Saints and signed with the Falcons just prior to training camp, got revenge in his first game against his former club as he kicked a 21-yard field goal in overtime to beat New Orleans, 27-24 in the Superdome.

image October 18, 1998: The Falcons rallied with a pair of touchdowns on a eight-yard TD catch by FB Bob Christian and a 25-yard interception return for a TD by S Eugene Robinson in the final quarter for a 31-16 lead and held on for a 31-23 win in the Georgia Dome.

image October 27, 2002: A 47-yard field goal by K Jay Feely as time expired negated a three-TD game for Saints RB Deuce McAllister as the Falcons drove 60 yards in 11 plays to win, 37-35 in the Superdome.

image November 28, 2004: The Falcons trailed, 21-17 in the Georgia Dome with 1:56 to play. QB Michael Vick threw a 27-yard pass to TE Alge Crumpler to the Saints' 20 and then went back to the big tight end for a 20-yard TD pass with 1:22 left and a 24-21 victory.

image October 16, 2005: Atlanta took advantage of a second chance as K Todd Peterson - who missed a 41-yard field goal a play earlier only to have defensive holding called on the Saints - made a 36-yarder as time expired for a 34-31 victory in the Alamodome in San Antonio. The teams combined for 31 points in the final quarter and the Saints tied the game twice in the final seven minutes, but Vick completed three passes to Crumpler for a total of 31 yards in the final drive. It was the first game in the series outside of the states of Georgia and Louisiana due to the displacement of the Saints franchise after Hurricane Katrina.

A total of 68 players have played at least one regular season game in the uniform of both franchises. Five current Atlanta players -- K Morten Andersen, T Wayne Gandy, DT Grady Jackson, FB Fred McCrary and injured S Kevin Mathis played with the Saints while four current New Orleans players -- DT Antwan Lake, LB Terrence Melton, S Bryan Scott and LB Mark Simoneau spent time with the Falcons.

Some of the bigger names to grace the all-time roster lists of both franchises include Andersen (Saints 1982-94; Falcons 1995-2000, 06 -- the all-time points leader for both franchises), DT James (Jumpy) Geathers (Saints 1984-89; Falcons 1993-95), WR Michael Haynes (Falcons 1988-93, 97; Saints 1994-96), QB Bobby Hebert (Saints 1985-89, 91-92; Falcons 1993-96) and the late FB Craig "Ironhead" Heyward (Saints 1988-92; Falcons 1994-96).

Down through the years from Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium to Tulane Stadium, from the Georgia Dome to the Louisiana Superdome with a stop in San Antonio's Alamodome, the rich history of the NFL's southern tradition will live on once again for both Atlanta and New Orleans.



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