THE MATCHUP: FALCONS VS SAINTS 2021 WEEK 18
The 17th regular season game and the conference's seventh playoff seed, both recent creations by the NFL, both are of utmost importance to the New Orleans Saints (8-8), who meet the Atlanta Falcons (7-9) on Sunday, January 9 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium at 3:25 p.m. in the regular season finale. A New Orleans victory in Atlanta combined with a San Francisco 49ers loss to the Los Angeles Rams would catapult New Orleans into the conference's seventh playoff spot ahead of San Francisco and set up a road matchup at the Rams on NFL Wild Card weekend.
SAINTS-FALCONS SERIES HISTORY
Atlanta leads the regular season series, 53-51, with New Orleans holding an 21-10 advantage over the Falcons since 2006. Since 1991, 34 games have been decided by eight points or less. The Falcons had a 10-game winning streak from 1995-99, which remains the Saints' longest winless streak against an opponent. New Orleans took 13- of-16 in the rivalry from 1986-94 and Atlanta won nine straight over the fledgling Saints from 1969-73. Atlanta's most recent mastery over a five-year period ended with a 21-19 win for New Orleans at the Georgia Dome on Nov. 22, 2000. Eight games in the series have gone into overtime.
In the 104 regular season games of the series there has been:
- 2,203 points scored by New Orleans, 2,306 allowed.
- A ten-game Atlanta winning streak from 1995-99.
- A six-game win streak for New Orleans from 1986-89.
- 44 games decided by double-digits.
- 17 games decided by 21 or more points.
- 52 games decided by seven points or less.
- 3 games decided by one point.
- A 38-point win by Saints (11/1/87) - Biggest Saints win.
- A 55-point loss by Saints (9/16/73) - Biggest Saints loss.
- Four shutouts - Two by each club, the most recent a 38-0 win in Atlanta on 11/1/87.
- Eight overtime games— four wins by each club.
- Six Monday night games, two Sunday night games and eight Thursday night games, including Thanksgiving night in 2018 and 2019.
THE LAST MEETING
Week 9: Atlanta Falcons 26, Saints 5; November 7, 2021 @ Caesars Superdome - Matt Ryan's last and longest of several deep completions spared the Atlanta Falcons from another infamous collapse. Ryan hit Cordarrelle Patterson for a 64-yard gain with a minute left to set up Younghoe Koo's 29-yard field goal as time expired, and Atlanta defeated mistake-prone New Orleans on Sunday after allowing the Saints to wipe out an 18 -point, fourth-quarter deficit.
The New Orleans Saints take on the Atlanta Falcons at the Caesars Superdome in Week 9 of the 2021 NFL season.
Saints head coach Sean Payton started Trevor Siemian on the heels of Jameis Winston's season-ending knee injury a week ago, and intermittently mixed in Taysom Hill behind center. Siemian passed for 249 yards and two touchdowns without an interception, and Hill completed both of his passes for 33 yards. But both quarterbacks were hindered by a combination of penalties, dropped passes and protection breakdowns.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS-ATLANTA FALCONS SERIES FAST FACTS
Saints' Largest Margin of Victory vs Falcons:
38 points, Saints won 38-0 on 11/01/87 at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium.
Falcons' Largest Margin of Victory vs Saints:
55 points, Falcons won 62-7 on 09/16/73 at Tulane Stadium.
Current Series Streak:
Falcons have won one straight, 11/7/21-.
Saints' Longest Win Streak vs Falcons:
Six games, 12/14/86- 11/19/89.
Falcons' Longest Win Streak vs Saints:
Ten games, 9/17/95 12/05/99.
Most Points by Saints in a Game vs Falcons:
45 points (twice), most recent, Saints won 45-16 on 12/26/11 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Most Points by Falcons in a Game vs Saints:
62 points, Falcons won 62-7 on 9/16/73 at Tulane Stadium.
Most Combined Points (Both Teams):
80 points, Saints won 43-37 on 9/23/18 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Fewest Points by Saints in a Game vs Falcons:
0 points (twice), most recent, Falcons won 27-0 on 09/06/81 at Atlanta Fulton County Stadium.
Fewest Points by Falcons in a Game vs Saints:
Zero points (twice), last, Saints won 30-0, 10/10/76 at Superdome.
Fewest Combined Points (Both Teams):
16 points, Saints won 13-3 on 10/20/74 at Atlanta Stadium.
ATLANTA FALCONS WEEK 17 RECAP
The Falcons have been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. They had to beat Buffalo on Sunday but couldn't do it, suffering a 29-15 loss here at Highmark Stadium.
The offense really struggled in the second half, when it became apparent Kyle Pitts couldn't continue due to a hamstring injury. Despite carrying a slim lead into the halftime break, the Bills built a two-score lead early in the fourth quarter.
The Falcons defense closed out the prior week's win over Detroit. Foye Oluokun made a dramatic interception in the red zone with a minute remaining when a touchdown would've won it.
It extended a run of impactful turnovers that resulted in wins and/or touchdowns. That run continued on Sunday, with the defense intercepting Josh Allen three times to keep the Falcons in it.
Read More: Falcons-Bills Week 17 Recap
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS WEEK 17 RECAP
The New Orleans Saints offense and defense got off to a sluggish start Sunday, Jan. 2 vs. the Carolina Panthers at the Caesars Superdome but both units turned it on in the second half to secure an 18-10 win, keeping the team's playoff hopes alive going into the season finale at Atlanta.
The Saints fell behind 10-3 to Carolina (5-11) but the defense stiffened and kicker Brett Maher made three more field goals for New Orleans to lead 12-10 after three quarters. The Saints scored their first touchdown since Week 14 when quarterback Taysom Hill hit running back Alvin Kamara with a 12-yard scoring pass. Maher's extra-point attempt bounced off the upright.
The New Orleans Saints take on the Carolina Panthers at the Caesars Superdome in Week 17 of the 2022 NFL season.