Although the Steelers-Raiders, Vikings-49ers and Eagles-Cardinals matchups may have had more history and even series such as the Buccaneers-Cowboys, Packers-Seahawks and Patriots-Ravens may have had more memorable moments, at The Gridiron Uniform Database we are first and foremost concerned with the visual impact of a series history, so have decided to go with the Falcons-Chargers this week for our weekly series "A Head To Head History." With the rich and vibrant reds and blacks of the Falcons and the blues and golds of the Chargers, this was a matchup history that has visually impressed.
(Plus, did you know that the Eagles and Cardinals have played each other well over a hundred times? I just didn't have the time this week to do that many matchups! I suspect this series may be leaning toward non-conference matches whenever possible.)
|Rookie Dan Fouts looked for his first win against Atlanta, but the Chargers failed 41-0
The next time the two teams met, in 1988, would be the first time they faced each other in Atlanta. The Falcons wore red at home, with a jersey patch honoring #30 David Crudup. The two teams would be struggling, however, as the Chargers were 2-8 and the Falcons 3-7. The Chargers would win a forgettable game 10-7, but it would be the only time the Chargers have defeated the Falcons so far. Chargers head coach Al Saunders, in his second full season, would be fired at the end of the year, while third-year Falcons' head coach Marion Campbell would be fired the following season after a 3-9 start.
|Even though the Falcons won in San Diego in 1991,
Jerry Glanville wasn't happy about something
|Write-up of the 1991 game
|A nice looking 1994 HOF Game
The teams would meet again in a colorful Hall Of Fame Game in Canton in 1994, where they would both wear their throwbacks, plus again in the 1994 regular season in San Diego, with the Chargers again White at Home, this time with blue pants, and the Falcons again in black. Both teams, of course wore the NFL's 75th Anniversary patch in the Hall Of Fame Game, but by the regular season matchup the Falcons had added a jersey patch honoring longtime team equipment manager Whitey `Zeke' Zimmerman, who died on November 3, 1994. Under first-year head coach June Jones, the Falcons won this matchup as well, 10 to 9, in the teams first meeting at the Georgia Dome. Even though they beat the Chargers, they struggled to a 7-9 finish, while San Diego would go 11-5 and reach their only Super Bowl, losing to San Francisco.
In 1997 the Falcons again had a rookie head coach, as it was former Broncos and Giants head coach Dan Reeves first year at the helm of Atlanta. The team would improve upon a 3-13 '96 campaign to go 7-9 in '97, but they would be on the ascension as the met the Chargers on the way down in '97. The Falcons were in the midst of a five game winning streak, while the Chargers were losing their last eight of the 1997 season that would lead to a 4-12 finish and cost Head Coach Bobby Ross his job. The Chargers were no longer a all-season 'White At Home' team, wearing navy for this matchup in San Diego. The Falcons won this game 14-3, and Atlanta would go 14-2 and make it to their only Super Bowl the following year, losing to Denver.
|2004 meeting in Atlanta
|Matt Ryan throws a pass in 2008 victory over Chargers in San Diego
The Falcons continue their run through the AFC West, opening 2-0 with big wins over the Chiefs and Broncos, while the Chargers are also undefeated with wins over Oakland and Tennessee. Should be a good game in San Diego, but the Falcons look unstoppable, look for them to continue their dominance over the Chargers.
|The only "Prime Time" in this series was Deion returning a punt in 1991