Patriots-Falcons: A brief history

Patriots-Falcons: A brief history
September 24, 2013, 4:00 pm
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The first thing I usually do at the start of an NFL week is look back at the all-time record between the Patriots and their upcoming opponent.

I’m not sure why I do this.

It’s probably just nostalgia. Because sometimes it's fun to reminisce about the past  before spending the week obsessing over the future.

Its certainly not because that history has an effect on the future. Especially when it comes to Pats and NFC opponents.

Take, for example, this week's challenger: The Atlanta Falcons

Sure, New England's  won three straight meetings in the all-time series. But the two teams haven't played since 2009, when Matt Ryan was only in his second season. The Pats two touchdowns on that afternoon were scored by Fred Taylor and Chris Baker. Randy Moss had 10 catches for 116 yards. The game's only turnover was a fumble forced by Brandon McGowan and recovered by James Sanders.

So, yeah. Don't think we'll gain any insight from that one. And if we don't gain any insight from that one then we definitely won't gain any from looking at the last time the Falcons BEAT the Patriots.

That happened 15 years ago this November; a 41-10 trouncing by the eventual NFC champs. It featured a touchdown pass from Chris Chandler to OJ Santiago. Two interceptions by Ty Law. And a sack by Steve Israel? Yes, a sack by Steve Israel.

Julio Jones was nine years old. Aaron Dobson had just turned seven.

It was the Falcons fourth straight win against the Pats. Prior to that, they'd lost three of five. Combine that with New England's current three game winning streak and the all-time series between these two teams is currently tied 6-6.

So as you see, there's so much more riding on Sunday night's game than you originally thought. It's a pivotal game in Falcons/Patriots history.

And one that will look like ancient history by the next time these two teams get together.

Follow me on Twitter: @rich_levine