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Houston Texans v. Atlanta Falcons: Inside The NFL's Most Intense Rivalry

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Here's a quick rundown on why the Texans and Falcons hate each other so much. It's a story of intrigue, betrayal and insomnia.

Welcome home, TJ.
Welcome home, TJ.
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

I wrote this the week before the Atlanta Falcons squared off against our Houston Texans during last year's preseason campaign. The words just kind of spilled out onto my keyboard in the middle of the night. Enjoy.

You can't talk about NFL rivalries for long without mentioning the utter disdain the Houston Texans and the Atlanta Falcons share for each other. It's a hatred right up there with Packers/Bears, Cowboys/Redskins, and 49ers/Seahawks.

The last time these two teams met was back in 2011. Hot shot rookie T.J. Yates made his first-ever start and ABSOLUTELY TORCHED the Falcons' hapless secondary for 188 yards on 12 of 25 passing en route to a 17-10 BLOWOUT. It was the 15th time in a row the Texans defeated their bitter cross-conference rivals.

Yates' dominating performance saved the Texans' season after losing Matt Schaub and Matt Leinart to injury. The fifth-round pick out of UNC would go on to win every game he played that year and championed one of the most lob-sided playoff runs in NFL history, concluding with a 76-2 curb-stomping of the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl XLVI. Yates continued his reign of domination in 2012, making NFL history by leading the Texans to a 19-0 season capped off with yet another drubbing of the Cowboys in Super Bowl XLVII... this time to the tune of 88-5.

It all came to an end in 2013 when Yates inexplicably decided to hold out of training camp due to outrageous contract demands. Somehow the salary of a fifth-round draft pick wasn't enough for the egocentric diva, and the Texans were forced to release him before the season started.

Without its field general, the team floundered to its third-ever 2-14 season. Disgruntled veteran Matt Schaub took the reins again and promptly steered the team over a cliff. Literally. It was tragic. Yates would get picked up by the Atlanta Falcons, signing a mega-deal and eventually winning his third Super Bowl (against the Tennessee Titans, 91-4).

And now here we are. Judgement Day comes on Saturday Sunday.

Dis-gon-b-gud_medium

This gonna be good.

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