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Sanders vs. Mathis


The Fans' Favorite Falcon series, presented by Ford, rolls on with the first matchup of the second round.

How do you decide between No. 3 Deion Sanders vs. No. 6 Terance Mathis?

Deion Sanders

He is arguably the greatest cornerback to ever play the game, and he got his start with five tremendous seasons with the Falcons. Deion Sanders was drafted in 1989 and almost immediately became the PrimeTime icon we know him as today. Sanders earned Pro Bowl bids in 1991, 92 and 93 before leaving for San Francisco in 1994. During 1992, Sanders high-stepped his way to 1,067 kick return yards and two touchdowns. Defensively, Sanders perhaps electrified even more, hauling in 24 interceptions in his five seasons with the Falcons — three four touchdowns. Off the field, Sanders was as flashy a personality as you'll find in professional sports, which gave him that added edge as a fan favorite.

Terance Mathis

Arriving in Atlanta in 1994 after a stint with the Jets, Terance Mathis wasted little time in establishing himself as the dominant receiver in then-head coach June Jones' high-powered offense. On Christmas Eve of 1994, Mathis closed out a brilliant first season with the Falcons that included a club-record 111 receptions (broken during the 2010 season by Roddy White). Mathis made his lone Pro Bowl appearance during that season, and he nearly duplicated his yards and touchdown marks from that year during the 1998 Super Bowl season. Mathis was a force on the field and had the ability to make a play nearly every single time he touched the ball. Not nearly as flashy as bracket counterparts Andre Rison, Jamal Anderson or even his second-round opponent, but Mathis could always be counted on to get the job done.

The Matchup

If only we could just take these two in their prime and put them on the field head-to-head to determine this matchup. We can't do that, so it's up to you to vote for your favorite. Mathis was such a crucial part of that 1998 Super Bowl team, combining with players like Jamal Anderson and Chris Chandler on offense to make the Falcons one of the best teams in the league that year. Sanders, while not a part of a Super Bowl team until he left Atlanta, was electrifying every time he set foot on the field. He added a level of excitement in just wondering what he would do if he did get his hands on a pass. It's tough to determine what sets the two apart since neither played their entire careers with the Falcons, but something tells me Sanders is going to get the edge in this one.

Download the entire bracket here. * Visit the Fans' Favorite Falcon main page

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