In recent years, we have seen teams make it to the Super Bowl, lose the big game, and then fail to make the playoffs the following season. The assumption would be that a team good enough to get into the big game would be good enough to make another run the following season, but it just never seems to play out that way. Since their Super Bowl collapse a couple of years ago, the Atlanta Falcons have taken a few steps backward and are coming off another season where they missed out on postseason play. The bad news is that the NFC South looks as though it is going to be tougher than ever this season, so can the Falcons bounce back? Let’s take a closer look at their 2020 schedule along with their NFL odds to see if this is a team that can compete.
Atlanta Falcons Schedule Analysis
Strength of Schedule
If the Falcons are to bounce back and make it back to the playoffs, they are not going to have the smoothest path there. They are in the top 5 when it comes to the toughest strength of schedule, with the teams that they will face this season going a combined 134-121-1. Like we mentioned at the top of this piece, the division is going to be tougher than it was last season. The New Orleans Saints are the class of the South, but with Tom Brady set to begin his time in Tampa, we can also expect to see the Buccaneers take a step forward.
Dan Quinn Starts the Season in the Hot Seat
At the end of every NFL season, we see a list of coaching casualties, most of which don’t really come as much of a surprise. The biggest surprise at the end of last season, at least for some, was that Dan Quinn was allowed to keep his job as the coach of the Atlanta Falcons. He probably did enough in the second half of the season to be given that reprieve, but you can bet that he is going to be on a very short leash this coming season. If the Falcons get off to a slow start, you wonder how long it will be before that trigger is pulled.
Primetime and Featured Games
The Falcons do not have a ton of primetime games on the schedule this coming season, but the two that they do have will definitely be worth tuning into. The bad news for the Falcons is that both of their primetime games will be played on the road, with both of those outings coming against teams who were in the playoffs last season. Their first foray into primetime will come on a Monday night in Week 4, when the Falcons will head into Lambeau Field to face the Green Bay Packers. Their second and final primetime game in 2020 is an important divisional game on the road against the Carolina Panthers, with that one set for Thursday night in Week 8.
It is important for Atlanta to get off to a fast start this season, but that is going to be easier said than done given their schedule through the opening 4 weeks of the season. They will have road games against the Seahawks and Packers, and a pair of home games against the Cowboys and the Bears. No easy wins in that bunch.
The Atlanta Falcons Complete Schedule
- Week 1, Sept. 13: vs. Seahawks
- Week 2, Sept. 20: at Cowboys
- Week 3, Sept. 27: vs. Bears
- Week 4, Oct. 5: at Packers(Monday Night Football)
- Week 5, Oct. 11: vs. Panthers
- Week 6, Oct. 18: at Vikings
- Week 7, Oct. 25: Lions
- Week 8, Oct. 29: at Panthers (Thursday Night Football)
- Week 9, Nov. 8: vs. Broncos
- Week 10: BYE
- Week 11, Nov. 22: at Saints
- Week 12, Nov. 29: vs. Raiders
- Week 13, Dec. 6: vs. Saints
- Week 14, Dec. 13: at Chargers
- Week 15, Dec. 20: vs. Buccaneers
- Week 16, Dec. 27: at Chiefs
- Week 17, Jan. 3: at Buccaneers