WATCH: Falcons attempting to break tradition on Thanksgiving

Dave Holcomb

For the second straight season, this time at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, the Falcons will face the New Orleans Saints on Thanksgiving night at 8:20 pm ET on NBC.

This will be the Falcons' fourth appearance on Turkey Day, all of which have occurred since 2005. The Saints are playing on Thanksgiving for the third time ever.

If history counts for anything, the past will not be on Atlanta's side in this matchup. The Falcons are 1-2 and have lost two straight on Thanksgiving while the Saints are 2-0 on the holiday. Last year, New Orleans defeated Atlanta, 31-17.

The Falcons won their first Thanksgiving game against the Detroit Lions in 2005, 27-7. That's the only time Atlanta has faced either of the two "regular participants" on Thanksgiving -- Detroit or Dallas. The league expanded to showing a third game on Thanksgiving in 2006, and one year later, the Falcons faced the Indianapolis Colts in the primetime matchup on the holiday, losing 31-13.

The Saints made their first Thanksgiving appearance just nine years ago against the Cowboys in 2010. New Orleans won, 30-27. 

Only five teams have played fewer Thanksgiving Day games than the Saints. Two games is definitely a small sample, but the Saints are perfect on Turkey Day, nonetheless, and this year, New Orleans has the opportunity to clinch the NFC South in its hated rival's stadium while keeping with holiday tradition and staying perfect on Thanksgiving.

Clearly, in the case of the Falcons, not all traditions are good ones.

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