The Fans' Favorite Falcon series, presented by Ford, rolls on with our next matchup.
How do you decide between No. 4 Steve Bartkowski vs. No. 13 Gerald Riggs?
If there's a record for it in Falcons lore, chances are, Steve Bartkowski owns it. The definitive quarterback of the Falcons in the late '70s and early '80s, Bartkowski still holds the Falcons record for all-time passer. By a lot. He threw for 23,470 yards in his career and there's no one within 6,000 yards of him. Bartkowski is a favorite for a lot of reasons, namely for securing more than 50 victories during his Falcons career and guiding the team to its first playoff victory in franchise history in 1978. It's not uncommon to walk through the Georgia Dome today and see a slew of Bartkowski jerseys among the crowd.
Gerald Riggs was a force on the field. There's no other way to put it. The leading rusher in Falcons history with 6,631 yards, Riggs was the ultimate option for Bartkowski during the early '80s. The biggest year of Riggs' career came in 1985 when he rushed 397 times for 1,719 yards. But what made him popular with Falcons fans was his style of play and the way he approached the game. He was big and he was fast, and he used both of those attributes to make opposing defenses look silly. Being one of the most prolific Falcons of all time puts Riggs in the top 16.
Arguably one of the most difficult matchups of the first round, Bartkowski vs. Riggs pits not only players from the same era and players from the same side of the ball against each other, but one was always handing off to the other. So it could be argued that one became a favorite because of the other, and vice versa. Bartkowski gets the edge over Riggs because of the way his career resonated with the fanbase, but don't be surprised if Riggs gives Bartkowski a run for his money. Riggs was Michael Turner before Michael Turner was Michael Turner, so there's a lot to like from the steadiest running back in Falcons history.
View the results of the first round