The Falcons–Panthers rivalry is a rivalry between the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers of the National Football League. The rivalry began in 1995 when the Panthers joined as an expansion team. Both teams competed in the NFC West from 1995–2001 and the NFC South since its creation in 2002. Atlanta holds a 30–18 lead in the series. The two teams have not met in the playoffs.
The Falcons and Panthers have won a combined 11 division titles since 1995 and each have made two Super Bowl appearances: The Falcons in Super Bowls XXXIII and LI and the Panthers in Super Bowls XXXVIII and 50. Neither team has won a Super Bowl championship. Coincidentally, both teams lost their Super Bowls to the same two AFC teams: the Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots.
It is also known as the "I-85 Rivalry" due to Atlanta and Charlotte being only four hours apart on Interstate 85. Games between the two teams feature large contingents of visiting fans in both cities.
Carolina's first ever regular season game was a 23–20 overtime loss to the Falcons on September 3, 1995. Later that season, Carolina defeated Atlanta 21–17 for their seventh win of the year–the most ever for an expansion franchise. Carolina faced Atlanta in the first regular season game played at Ericsson Stadium (now Bank of America Stadium) in 1996, which the Panthers won.
The National Football Conference – Southern Division or NFC South is one of the four divisions of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL). It was created prior to the 2002 NFL season, when the league realigned divisions after expanding to 32 teams. The NFC South currently has four member clubs: the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Prior to the 2002 season, the Buccaneers belonged to the AFC West (1976) and NFC Central (1977–2001), while the other three teams were part of the geographically inaccurate NFC West. As a matter of fact, the South has more multiple-season members of the old NFC West than the current NFC West does (the Seattle Seahawks are in the current West, but they only played in that division during their inaugural season).
The NFC South is the only division since the 2002 realignment to have each of its teams make a conference championship game appearance as well as a Super Bowl appearance: Tampa Bay (2002), Atlanta (2004, 2012, and 2016), Carolina (2003, 2005 and 2015), and New Orleans (2006, 2009, and 2018). Also since 2002, each team has won at least three division titles, the only such division in the league. It is also the only NFL division to have zero division sweeps by any of its member teams.
Entering 2016, the Saints have the most wins among division members. The Saints record is 356–435–5; their win in Super Bowl XLIV is the highlight of an 8–9 playoff record. The Falcons record is 330–432–6 with a playoff record of 9–13; the Falcons lost in Super Bowls XXXIII and LI, the latter in overtime. The Buccaneers record is 241–386–1 with a victory in their only Super Bowl appearance, Super Bowl XXXVII, and an overall playoff record of 6–9. The Panthers have the best playoff record (9–8) of any team in the division with losses in Super Bowls XXXVIII and 50 and the best overall record in the division (166–169–1).
The NFC South is the only NFC division not to have any teams that predate the 1960 launch of the American Football League, the NFL’s former rival league. The oldest team is the Falcons, who began play in 1966, and the Saints began play only a year later in 1967. Each of the other NFC divisions has 3 teams that began play earlier than 1960, while the remaining three such teams are in the American Football Conference.
The NFC South became the second division in five years to have a champion with a losing record, as the 2014 Carolina Panthers won the division with a 7–8–1 record. (The 2010 Seattle Seahawks won the NFC West with a 7–9 record.) Additionally, Carolina became the first team to repeat as NFC South champions since the creation of the division. The Panthers are the only team to win the NFC South three consecutive times from 2013 to 2015. On January 7, 2018 two NFC South teams (Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints) met in the NFL playoffs for the first time since the division was created in 2002.National Football League rivalries
As with all sports leagues, there are a number of significant rivalries in the National Football League (NFL). Rivalries are occasionally created due to a particular event that causes bad blood between teams, players, coaches, or owners, but for the most part, they arise simply due to the frequency with which some teams play each other, and sometimes exist for geographic reasons.
Rivalries in the NFL are commonly recognized as such by fans and players alike. While many rivalries are well established, others are of more recent vintage, accepted as existing by the nature of the competition and history between the two teams. Other rivalries have fallen by the wayside due to league realignment and reduction in frequencies of meetings.
|Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers Season-by-Season Results|
1990s (Tie, 5–5)
2000s (Falcons, 13–7)
2010s (Falcons, 12–6)
Summary of Results