The rivalry between the New Orleans Saints and the Atlanta Falcons is an intense one that dates back to the 1960's.

The Saints won the first-ever meeting between the two franchises, 27-24, back on November 20 of 1967.

New Orleans also won the last match-up, when they captured a 26-23 overtime win over the Falcons, back on November 11, in Atlanta.

In between though, the Falcons won their share of games, and lead the all-time series, 46-39.

Originally known as the "Dixie Championship" and now more often called the "Southern Showdown, a Saints/Falcons game is always intense, and often close.

Each of the last four games played between the two franchises has been decided by three points.

Born one year apart, the Saints and Falcons were the first two NFL franchises in the in the deep southern part of the U.S.

ESPN.com writer Len Pasquarelli has cited the rivalry as one of the best in all of sports.

Yes, it has been a big rivalry over the last 44 years, and the Monday night match-up between the two teams has a lot of significance. 

 

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Darren Sproles (43) and Drew Brees (9)

 

Mike Triplett, of the Times-Picayune, has more on the rivalry, and the game on Monday night.