Atlanta Falcons Will Deny the New Orleans Saints’ Quest for NFC South Supremacy

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

While the Atlanta Falcons ultimate goal is to be the first team to bring back the Vince Lombardi Trophy in the 47-year history of the franchise, the defending NFC South champions first priority is to deny the New Orleans Saints‘ attempt to overthrow them and push them out to the streets once again.

Ever since a 6-foot guy named Drew Brees became the Saints’ new quarterback in 2006, there has been no question about the dominant force the Saints have become, in particularly against the Falcons. The Saints have posted an amazing 11-3 record against the Dirty Birds.

In that time span, Brees has led his team to a Super Bowl victory, conquered the NFC South with a dictatorship rule and won four straight against the Falcons before finally losing to them at the Georgia Dome in what was considered a “down” year for the Saints. Even though the Falcons have turned the tables and become a team to be feared across the league, they know that the Saints have had their number and dominated this rivalry since the arrival of their “Saint”.

As the Falcons and Saints collide in the season opener on Sept. 8 at the Superdome; old fires will rekindle and the fierce, violent rivalry will be at full strength.

While the Falcons enter their regular season after an impressive 2012 campaign during which they notched their first playoff victory in the Matt Ryan/Mike Smith Era, the impure Saints had a humbling experience, as they were punished for being unholy with their Bounty Scandal.

For their actions, the NFL suspended key players such as defensive end Will Smith and linebacker Jonathan Vilma, but the most damage came when coach Sean Payton was suspended for the entire 2012-13 NFL season.

Brees still led his team to a respectable 7-9 record and led the No. 1 passing attack with 312.3 passing yards per game. With the offense still there, it was their defense that suffered the most, as they ranked near the bottom in both passing and rushing defense.

With that behind them though, the Saints have seemed to find their swagger, as they are eager and ambitious to knock out the Falcons. Linebacker Junior Galette explains why he thinks the rivalry has been one-sided.

“Maybe they’re scared to come in the Dome. But we beat them at home, at their house, too,” Galette told reporters, according to NOLA.com, which posted video of his comments. “I don’t really know what it is. I just feel like we want to dominate the division. Our main focus after we dominate the division is to do everything else, wing the NFC. But our main focus is to dominate the division. Atlanta is one of the better teams in the division.”

Galette also believes that the Falcons doesn’t respect them, which gives him and his teammates even more motivation to hunt down the Dirty Birds.
“But we don’t pay attention to that. We just want to buckle up on Sundays. … Less talking, more playing,” Galette told reporters.
Although the Saints will be back at full strength with the return of key players and their coach, Ryan and his Falcons will make sure that they don’t disappoint a team so eager to play them. Defensively, the Falcons have improved dramatically, as they will probably boast the most athletic secondary the Saints have witnessed thus far.
As for the offense, the Falcons not only have the fire power to match Brees passing attack, but they have the fire works to blast the Saints secondary. They also added running back Steven Jackson to the mix, which should keep Galette and his big mouth busy.
Far too long have the Falcons been overshadowed by their arch nemesis, and have been pushed to the curb while the Saints received all the spotlight. The Falcons know what its like to be a “Powerhouse”, and now have a thirst for success.
In 2013, the Falcons will not only deny a victory in Payton’s first game back, but deny his team oxygen in their journey to own the NFC South as well.
Former Falcons linebacker Curtis Lofton‘s quote summed up this rivalry the best.
“I mean, we don’t like them, they don’t like us. And I definitely don’t like them. So I’m looking forward to playing them, and I can’t wait ’til Sunday,” he said, according to NOLA.com.
Indeed, the Falcons and Saints will resume their battle and clash once again, only this time, the Falcons will be the last ones standing when its all said and done. Falcons are here to stay, and the Saints will be the ones to resume their prayers, as they will be denied in their quest to the top.
Daniel Chi is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @DanielChi24, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google 

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