2020 Atlanta Falcons Schedule Analysis: 4 Instant Thoughts on What's Ahead

Proof that it's much better for Atlanta to start the season at home...

Knox Bardeen
May 07, 2020 - 9:38 pm
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The NFL released the schedule for all 32 teams on Thursday and now that we have the Falcons schedule to look over, let's get into our feelings about it.

Related: 2020 Atlanta Falcons Schedule

ROUGH AT THE BEGINNING

NFL coaches like to break down the 16-game season into four quarters, and the first quarter of the season for Atlanta looks brutal.

  • Week 1 - Seattle at Atlanta, Sunday, Sept. 13 | 1 p.m. 
  • Week 2 - Atlanta at Dallas, Sunday, Sept. 20 | 1 p.m.
  • Week 3 - Chicago at Atlanta, Sunday, Sept. 27 | 1 p.m.
  • Week 4 - Atlanta at Green Bay, Monday, Oct. 5 | 8:15 p.m.

All four of these opponents are considered to be in the upper half of the NFL in terms of strength. Only three teams (the Saints, 49ers, and Eagles) have better odds for success in 2020 than Green Bay, Dallas, and Seattle. Every team wants to start the season strong. That task will be difficult for Atlanta.

NO PLACE LIKE HOME

In the Super Bowl era the Falcons have played 54 Week 1 games but only 21 at home. Fair or not, the league seems to like starting Atlanta on the road to begin the season. But that's not the case in 2020 as Seattle comes to town on Sept. 13. As Mike Conti mentioned on Twitter, it's the first Week 1 home game for the Falcons in a while.

Since 2000 the Falcons are 6-1 at home in Week 1 games, and 5-8 in road games to start the season.

DIVISION FOES COME CLUMPED TOGETHER

Wes Durham, the play-by-play voice of the Falcons, noticed that there was a trend on Atlanta's schedule in terms of NFC South play:

In recent years we've seen the NFL stack all the NFC South games for Atlanta at the end of the season. We've also seen the league split the divisional games up at the beginning and the end. Neither happened here, completely, with the two Carolina games coming in th efirst half of the season and both games versus the Saints and Bucs coming in the back half.

There isn't a lot of space between these rematches. Two games separate the Panthers' contests and only one game comes in between New Orleans and Tampa Bay. That means game plans will be fresh on the minds of both teams. It may come down to which team can show the other a different plan of attack.

BYE WEEK SETS UP PLAYOFF PUSH

Somewhere like Week 8 or 9 seems like the perfect time for the bye week, but Week 10 isn't too bad. It's much better than an early bye, and the time off in mid-November could set the Falcons up for a healthier seven-week run for the playoffs.

FALCONS FINISH SEASON FACING QB HEAVY FOES

Look who should be under center for the teams the Falcons play in their final five games:

  • Week 13: Drew Brees
  • Week 14: Tyrod Taylor or Justin Hebert
  • Week 15: Tom Brady
  • Week 16: Patrick Mahomes
  • Week 17: Tom Brady

That's the GOAT, two Hall of Fame locks, and the reigning Super Bowl (and 2018 season) MVP. Atlanta's defense had better come prepared.