In case you missed it, the Falcon’s schedule was officially released Thursday evening. After being ranked 2nd in hardest schedule last year, it’s a relief the Falcons at least get to start off their season with the Bears. As for the rest of the schedule, here It is below:

September 10 at Chicago Bears 1:00 PM FOX
September 17 vs. Green Bay Packers (SNF) 8:30 PM NBC
September 24 at Detroit Lions 1:00 PM FOX
October 1 vs. Buffalo Bills 1:00 PM CBS
October 8 BYE
October 15 vs. Miami Dolphins 1:00 PM CBS
October 22 at New England Patriots (SNF) 8:30 PM NBC
October 29 at New York Jets 1:00 PM FOX
November 5 at Carolina Panthers 1:00 PM FOX
November 12 vs. Dallas Cowboys 4:25 PM FOX
November 20 at Seattle Seahawks (MNF) 8:30 PM ESPN
November 26 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 PM FOX
December 3 vs. Minnesota Vikings 1:00 PM FOX
December 7 vs. New Orleans Saints (TNF) 8:25 PM NBC/Amazon
December 18 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (MNF) 8:30 PM ESPN
December 24 at New Orleans Saints 1:00 PM FOX
December 31 vs. Carolina Panthers 1:00 PM FOX

(http://www.atlantafalcons.com/news/blog/article-1/Falcons%E2%80%99-2017-Regular-Season-Schedule-Set/ac1e0eb5-f78b-4afa-b20b-de3c043e3008)

5 prime time games and an early week 5 bye stand out immediately. Last year Atlanta had a late week 11 bye and it seemed to work out as they won 7 of their last 9 after the bye week. (including playoffs) This season their schedule looks a whole lot different from last season, the new teams they will face include: Chicago, Detroit, Buffalo, Miami, New York, (Jets) Dallas, and Minnesota. 4/7 of those games will be played in the Georgia Dome. Although there hasn’t been much time to analyze how strong certain teams will be next year, here’s an early prediction on how things might work out this coming season for Atlanta.

Weeks 1-4- Atlanta will start the season with a road trip to Chicago. There, they will face a team that struggled tremendously last year, managing only 3 wins. Chicago has had problems in the quarterback position, running back position, receiving core, and there are big holes in their defense on top of that. Assuming Atlanta hasn’t fallen off since the 2016 season, Atlanta should start 1-0. They then play Green Bay (at home) and everyone knows the Packers are already looking for redemption since what happened last year in the playoffs. The Packers were routed by Atlanta, although that takes little away from the stellar season Aaron Rodgers led the Packers too. Detroit will be a tough test, they snuck into the playoffs last year and are likely to improve in some areas this coming year. If Detroit can pick up players and develop an effective running game, they’ll become real contenders. After that, Atlanta will face the Bills. Buffalo had a mediocre year last year, but is predicted by many to remain the same or fall off because of little threats on either side of the ball. Atlanta’s record prediction through this set of games 4: 2-2.(loss to Green Bay and Detroit)

Weeks 5-9-  After the week 5 bye the Falcons play at home against Miami. Miami is another team that’s on the verge of becoming good, but based off the year Atlanta is coming off you can assume Atlanta will be favored. After that, it’s a game most Atlanta fans are dreading already. There’s no such thing as “pay back” for what happened in the Super Bowl, but the Falcons will more than likely still be out with a vengeance to destroy the Patriots. No matter how this matchup between the Falcons and Patriots turns out, two things are almost guaranteed: 1. The announcers will talk all game about last year’s Super Bowl. 2.No matter the lead Atlanta has Falcon’s fans will not be comfortable. But hey, maybe we’ll play all 4 quarters this time. If the Falcons get through New England it’s off to New York to play the Jets. No explanation necessary, this should be a win for the Falcons. The week 9 matchup is Carolina at home. Last season Atlanta swept the Panthers in both home and away games. The Panthers completely fell off from a near undefeated regular season in 2015 to a mere 6-win season last season. They still have talent on both sides of the ball and are far from a walk in the park. Atlanta’s record prediction through this set of games: 3-1(loss to Miami)

Weeks 10-13-  The Falcons get Dallas at home, and this is a matchup everyone wanted to see last year. The high-powered offenses of both teams were so unstoppable every sports fanatic wanted to see them face off. There’s no telling if Zeke and or Dak will have an off year after a standout rookie year, (like Todd Gurley) but for now, we can assume they will be just as good and for it to be a great game. Week 11 the Falcons get a Monday night game against the Seattle Seahawks. If Atlanta treats it like a playoff game they should be fine. (Atlanta owns Seattle in the playoffs) Coming off what will more than likely be a tough game playing Dallas, it will be difficult for Atlanta to give their A game at Seattle. After Dallas, it’s Tampa that’s next in the Georgia Dome. Tampa is a team on the rise and even though fell short of the playoffs last year they are likely to make a better run for it this year. It’s Minnesota for week 13, and without Adrian Peterson they have the potential to be bad this coming year. Even though the defense had experts fooled at the beginning of last season, they soon collapsed and left the Vikings out of the playoffs after a 5-0 start. Atlanta’s record prediction through this set of games: 2-2(loss to Seattle and Tampa Bay)

Weeks 14-17- Atlanta kicks off their first game against the Saints in Thursday night fashion. It seems as if no matter how miss-evenly matched the Saints and Falcons are, the game played is always a close one. That’s pretty much how the Saints and Falcons rivalry goes. The final 4 games Atlanta plays is all divisional matchups. If the divisional race is tight it will ultimately come down to the final 4 weeks. So, it’s weeks 14-17 that are most crucial for Atlanta. Atlanta’s record prediction through this set of games: 3-1 (loss to the Saints away)

Record Prediction: 10-6

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