The Falcons are marching into New Orleans to battle the NFC rival Saints in their season opener. Here are some facts and tidbits about the matchup:
- Sunday marks the 88th regular-season meeting between the Falcons and Saints with Atlanta holding a 46-41 advantage in the all-time series. The Falcons are 1-0 over the Saints all-time in playoff meetings.
- Sunday's 2013 season opener between the Falcons and Saints is not only a heated rivalry, but also a matchup of two of the NFC's top clubs. Since 2008, the Falcons 56-24 record and .700 winning percentage lead the NFC, while the Saints 52-28 mark and .650 winning percentage rank third in the conference.
- Falcons head coach Mike Smith enters kickoff weekend with a 3-2 record, while the Falcons own a 25-22 (.532) all-time record on kickoff weekend.
- Head coach Mike Smith holds a record of 38-17 when the Falcons play day games (1 p.m. ET) as well as a 23-17 record for away games.
- Safety William Moore earned NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors after recording a game-high 13 tackles (10 solo) with two tackles for loss and two interceptions in Atlanta's 23-13 win over New Orleans in Week 13 of the 2012 season.
- In 2012, the Falcons were one of two teams in the NFL to rank in the top seven in both scoring offense and scoring defense.
- Since 2009, the Falcons and Saints have battled for the NFC South title. The team that has gone on to win the title has won so with a 13-3 record. Also of note, no NFC South team has won the division in consecutive years. Here is a breakdown:
2009 - Saints (13-3 record)
2010 - Falcons (13-3 record)
2011 – Saints (13-3 record)
2012 – Falcons (13-3 record)
- Four of the Falcons best seasons, in terms of turnovers, have come since 2008 and the Falcons have never turned the ball over more than 25 times in a single season under Smith.