Saints/Falcons Memorable Game: September 16, 1973 – VIDEO
The New Orleans Saints will open their 2014 regular season schedule this Sunday, when they travel to Atlanta, Georgia to take on the Atlanta Falcons in an NFC South showdown.
Kickoff at the Georgia Dome is scheduled for noon, and you can hear all the play-byplay action on EPSN 1420, as well as 97.3 The Dawg.
The rivalry between New Orleans and Atlanta has been one of the best in the NFL since the Saints joined the league back in 1967, with the Falcons being born just two years prior.
The two franchises have been division rivals, as part of either the NFC West or the NFC South, since 1970.
The Saints began in the Capitol Division in 1967, before playing one year in the Century Division in 1968, back to the Capitol Division in 1969, and then the NFC West in 1970, while the Falcons were members of the Coastal Division prior to joing the NFC West in 1970.
The Falcons lead the all-time series, 47-43, but the Saints won both meeting last season, and have also won six of the last seven match-ups, as well as nine of the last 11.
All week long, in anticipation of the 2014 season opener, we’ll be taking a look back at some of the more memorable games between the two franchises.
On Monday, we went back to November 26, 1967 for the very first game ever played between the two teams, a 27-24 Saints victory.
Today, we go back to September 16, 1973, for the most lopsided loss in Saints' history, a 62-7 win by the Falcons at Tulane Stadium.
The 1972 season opener for the Saints is something fans will remember, but not in a positive way.
After a scoreless first quarter, Atlanta just completely dominated New Orleans, leading 24-0 at halftime, 45-7 at the end of three periods, before going on to win, 62-7.
The Falcons outgained the Saints, in terms of total offense, 496-187, including a 275-35 advantage through the air, and a 218-152 edge on the ground.
Dick Shiner threw three touchdown passes for Atlanta, while Archie Manning, who threw a touchdown, the only one for the Saints, was intercepted five times, as New Orleans turned over the football eight times on the afternoon.
Shiner finished the day completing 13-of-15 passes for 237 yards and three touchdowns for the Falcons, while Dave Hampton accumulated 104 rushing yards on 19 carries.
In a losing cause for the Saints, Manning finished 5-of-13 for 62 yards, along with one touchdown and five interceptions.
New Orleans lost the next week, 40-3, to the Dallas Cowboys, to be outscored 102-1o in the first two weeks.
In week three, they fell to 0-3, after falling to the Baltimore Colts, 14-10.
Credit to the Saints though, as they rebounded to go 5-6 the rest of the way, and finished 1973 with a record of 5-9.
The Falcons went on to finish 1973 with a 9-5 record.
Below, is a brief look at the history of the Saints: