Monday Night Football Has Not Been Kind to the Atlanta Falcons

By Michael Collins
Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE – Atlanta Falcons Running Back Michael Turner is Gang Tackled by the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football

For over 40 years, Monday Night Football has been the prime time spotlight game for NFL teams. When teams are successful, they get scheduled for more Monday Night Football and other prime time games, but that doesn’t always mean they have success in those games. The Atlanta Falcons are a prime example of that.

Coming into this coming Monday’s match-up against the Denver Broncos, the Falcons have appeared on Monday Night Football 33 times. Their record in those 33 games is 9-24. For those Falcons fans who’s brains just melted to the point of being unable to calculate even the simplest of mathematical equations, that breaks down to a .273 winning percentage.

That’s the second lowest winning percentage in the history of Monday Night Football, coming in just ahead of the Houston Texans, who have only made four appearances on the show.

You’d have better odds of winning the Publisher’s Clearing House.

Atlanta’s pitiful run of games on Monday night is book-ended by two embarrassing losses. They were soundly defeated by the Miami Dolphins 20-7 on Nov.30, 1970, in their first MNF appearance, and then were crushed by the New Orleans Saints 45-16 in the 2011 Monday finale.

In fact, five of the Falcons last six losses on Monday nights have come at the hands of the Saints.

The Falcons last win on Monday Night Football came in the Georgia Dome on Sept.12, 2005 against the Philadelphia Eagles, in a game that was marred by a pre-game scuffle between the two teams, resulting in player ejections. This was also the same year that Atlanta became the first team to ever win three home Monday night games in one season.

In the upcoming game, Atlanta will have more to deal with than just it’s own past Monday night failures. Peyton Manning is coming into the Georgia Dome, and by the looks of his performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers last week, he’s not feeling any ill effects from sitting out last season following multiple neck surgeries.

To make matters worse, Atlanta just lost one of it’s top cornerbacks, Brent Grimes, to a season ending Achilles injury. Losing a starting corner is never a good thing, but losing one right before you are set to face Peyton Manning can be disastrous.

Manning has an 11-3 (.786) record on Monday Night Football — the best winning percentage by any quarterback in the marquee showdown — and has lost only one Monday night game in the last seven seasons in which he played.

The Falcons will need history to change on both sides for them to come out with a victory against the Broncos.


Michael Collins is a Rant Sports NFL Network Manager, and Atlanta sports columnist. Follow him @GaSportsCraze on Twitter

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