The Falcons and Giants come into Sunday's game knotted up in the all-time series at 10 games apiece.
The Falcons claimed their first victory in team history against the Giants in New York on November 20, 1966. Their first encounter in Atlanta came two years later in 1968 and the Falcons once again prevailed 24-21. The series is currently deadlocked at 10 wins each.
In 1978, the Birds hosted the team from Gotham in a Week 5 clash at Fulton County Stadium. Atlanta started out miserably, fumbling the opening kickoff to set up a RB Larry Csonka six-yard touchdown. Csonka came to New York after a stint in the World Football League (in Memphis), but made a name for himself during a successful seven-year run with the Miami Dolphins that included three Super Bowls.
A few minutes later, the Giants blocked a K Fred Seinfort 29-yard field goal attempt and returned it 11 yards for another touchdown for a quick 14-0 lead.
But Falcons QB Steve Bartkowski led a furious comeback first tossing a 54-yard touchdown strike to WR Wallace Francis in the second quarter. New York QB Steve Pisarcik was tackled by LB Dewey McClain for a safety to close the gap to 14-9 by halftime.
Bartkowski marched the Birds on a methodical 14 play, 45-yard drive to begin the second half and he finished off the drive himself with a one-yard score on a quarterback sneak.
The G-Men regained the lead on two field goals to go ahead 20-16 in the fourth quarter. But the Falcons signal-caller wasn’t finished.
Down to their final possession, Bart engineered a clutch game-winning drive directing the Falcons 77-yards, culminating in nine-yard dash by RB Haskel Stanback with 1:53 left to earn a 23-20 victory. Francis amassed 153 receiving yards in the contest on seven aerials from Bartkowski, which was the third-highest receiving yards total ever in team history at that time.
This weekend, someone will take the upper hand in this overall Atlanta-New York series, and gain much-needed momentum for the 2012 postseason.