Few things would satisfy the modern Atlanta Falcons fan more than locking up home field advantage while putting a late-season win on the New Orleans Saints. This game remains the South's best (I'd say only) pro sports rivalry, and after decades of being the two crabs at the bottom of the boiling bucket, these teams are now the class of the NFC. Did you ever think you'd see a game between the Falcons and Saints for the inside track to the Super Bowl?
Stakes are higher for the Saints than for the Birds, as Atlanta holds the tiebreaker and a two-game edge. The Falcons could lose and still wind up with home field, provided they beat the Carolina Panthers the following week. But still. This game is going to be massive, with the cheapest tickets in the Georgia Dome already going for hundreds of dollars online as our Southwestern neighbors prepare to truck in for the long weekend.
The Falcons have their goals set as high as any other NFL team, but there's no way any Atlanta player is looking past this game. Much, much more to come throughout Hate Week II.