New Orleans Saints Opening Day Flashback: 1973
The New Orleans Saints will open their 2016 regular season schedule next Sunday, when they play host to the Oakland Raiders in an NFC/AFC match-up.
Kickoff time at the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans is scheduled for noon, and you can hear all the play-byplay action on ESPN 1420, as well as 97.3 The Dawg.
Hopefully, will this year's season opener will turn out to be much better than the season 1973 season opener against the Atlanta Falcons, one that has been etched in the memories of longtime Saints fans since that game took place.
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.
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.
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.
Hopefully, opening week in 2016 will be much kinder to the Saints.