Falcons play divisional rival in Week 1 home opener

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ms. – The Falcons will open the 2022 season at Mercedes Benz Stadium NFC South rival New Orleans Saints.

This will be the 107th meeting between the two rivals, per the football database. The Falcons lead the all-time series 54-52.

Perhaps the Falcons’ most exciting game last season came in a week nine win over New Orleans. With a minute left to go in the Falcons’ week nine contest against the Saints, sitting at 0-3 in the NFC South and down 25-24 with just over a minute remaining, the Falcons needed a big play.

Cordarrelle Patterson delivered.

Patterson blew by Saints defensive back Paulson Adebo and caught a perfectly placed ball from Matt Ryan. Patterson tip-toed down the sidelines and moved upfield, gaining 64-yards before being forced out of bounds.

The catch silenced the deafening Saints fans’ cheers in the Cesars Superdome and set up Younghoe Koo for a 27-yard game-winning field goal to give the Falcons the 27-25 victory.

Both teams will look much different from last season and how they have for the last decade. Longtime coach Sean Payton stepped away from football following the 2021 season, a year after Drew Brees retired. The Falcons traded quarterback Matt Ryan to the Indianapolis Colts, and the Falcons’ former top target Calvin Ridley is suspended for at least the 2022 season.

So Week 1 will be the beginning of a new chapter in the Saints and Falcons rivalry, headlined by a new Saints coach and a new Falcons quarterback, but as long as the jersey colors remain the same, the game is sure to be just as intense .

Patterson blew by Saints defensive back Paulson Adebo and caught a perfectly placed ball from Matt Ryan. Patterson tip-toed down the sidelines and moved upfield, gaining 64-yards before being forced out of bounds.

The catch silenced the deafening Saints fans’ cheers in the Cesars Superdome and set up Younghoe Koo for a 27-yard game-winning field goal to give the Falcons the 27-25 victory.

Both teams will look much different from last season and how they have for the last decade. Longtime coach Sean Payton stepped away from football following the 2021 season, a year after Drew Brees retired. The Falcons traded former MVP quarterback Matt Ryan to the Indianapolis Colts, and the Falcons’ former top target Calvin Ridley is suspended for at least the 2022 season.

So week one will be the beginning of a new chapter in the Saints and Falcons rivalry, headlined by new coaches and upstart quarterbacks, but as long as the jersey colors remain the same, the game is sure to be just as intense.

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