1. All-Time Bragging Rights
Falcons Week isn’t just about the results of a given season. Our mission is a bit longer-term than that. Currently, the Falcons have a five game lead in the overall series. Including the playoffs, the Saints have 42 wins against Atlanta - and 47 losses.
By winning on Thursday night, the Saints will put themselves into position to finally even up the all-time record in 2015.
2. The Playoff Race
The Falcons suck and aren’t a contender, but that doesn’t mean a win over them won’t help the Saints. This is an intra-division and intra-conference game, meaning it’s critical for the Saints during this month-long stretch of playoff positioning.
By winning Thursday night, the Saints will stay ahead of Carolina no matter what the Panthers do, and they’ll make the following week’s Seattle game a de facto playoff for the all-important prize of a Domefield Advantage Super Bowl run.
3. The Falcons Are Just Awful
Yeah, we mean they’re a really terrible football team right now - but that’s not all. They just suck. They’re terrible. They deserve losses.
By winning Thursday night, the Saints will one again display the inherent superiority of everything Saints over anything Falcons.
4. Big Ben
Every time we make a list of reasons a game vs. Atlanta matters, we have to include Big Ben. In case you’ve forgotten, here’s what happened:
By winning Thursday night, the Saints will take another step towards exorcising this demon. Personally, we here at B&G will not be satisfied until the Saints equalize the 62-7 loss they suffered at the hands of Atlanta in 1973. No current Black and Gold Review contributors were born then, but still.
5. Steven Jackson is Not the Next Best Thing
Remember when Steven Jackson was the Falcons’ missing Super Bowl piece? Remember how he was going to slide into that offense and it was going to be a juggernaut that was going to roll through the league?
By winning Thursday night, the Saints will prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Atlanta is still a long way away from competing with the big boys.
6. To Avenge 2012
2012 was the worst. That season was riddled with painful losses and embarrassing defeats. The Falcons needed a five interception day from Drew Brees to win in Atlanta last year and they got awful smug afterwards.
They got to kick us when we were down (but they still only won one of the two games), so by winning Thursday night the Saints will repay the favor.
7. Roddy White
As is the case with Big Ben, no list about why it’s important to beat Atlanta is complete without referencing Roddy White. By winning Thursday, the Saints will make Roddy White sad, and that’s enough motivation all by itself.
8. B&G Co-Founder Needs an Excuse to Wear This Tie to Work
Even though the rivalry may feel weakened because the Falcons are terrible, the hate lives strong in Ryan Chauvin, who’s determined to wear the greatest tie in the history of Who Dat Nation into his uber-formal workplace. By winning Thursday night, the Saints will ensure Ryan has that chance on Friday morning.
9. Wasteful Stadiums
Look. This is New Orleans. We preserve and love history. And you don’t get history by destroying gazillion dollar buildings you constructed in the 1990s in favor of new gazillion dollar buildings in the 2010s.We’re referring, of course, to the new Braves stadium, replacing one built in the late-90s, and to the new Falcons stadium, which looks like a part of the human anatomy we won’t discuss in polite company.
By winning Thursday, the Saints will show that the Superdome is just better because it has history. And don’t mention the Super Bowl blackout. That kind of thing just adds character.
10. They’re the Falcons
Look, when all else fails: We’re playing Atlanta, and that’s all the reason we need to get motivated. There are real reasons to hate the Falcons, but in the end this hate is probably irrational - and that makes it even better.
By winning Thursday night, the Saints are going to make we folks over at B&G very happy. They’re going to make you, reader, happy. They’re going to make us all happy.
And that’s what this is really about.