It took a while, but this rivalry has come a long way since both teams entered the league in 1966.
With the NFC South title on the line, the Falcons (9-5) face the New Orleans Saints (11-3) at 8:30 p.m. Monday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
"I found out very quickly four years ago that this is the biggest rival that the Atlanta Falcons have," Falcons coach Mike Smith said. "I don't know the reason behind it. I have my ideas and maybe it's because they came into the league about the same time. But in terms of ramping it up, not only the players but the fans, it seems like this is the biggest rival that we have."
The last six games in the rivalry have been decided by a touchdown or less. The last four games have been decided by a field goal and two of those games have gone into overtime.
"I think that its two evenly matched, competitive football teams that want to go out and compete against each other," Smith said. "We have a lot of familiarity with one another. They are familiar...