The world is officially a better place today now that the NFL has released the 2009 schedule. Atlanta faces a tougher set of opponents and an early bye week and a beast of a stretch from week 7 thru week 11.
Let’s get down to the basic facts and talk some football!
Week 1: Miami Dolphins vs. Atlanta Falcons: The two cinderella teams from 2008 match up in week one at the Georgia Dome to pit Tony Sparano against the man he lost the coach of the year award to in Atlanta’s Mike Smith.
Week 2: Carolina Panthers vs. Atlanta Falcons: The NFC South division rivals lock up in what should be a great match-up featuring great running games and solid defenses. Look for Michael Turner to make a statement in this game and show up DeAngelo Williams.
Week 3: Atlanta Falcons at New England Patriots: The Falcons travel to Foxboro Mass. in late September (thank you NFL) to face Tom Brady in only his 3rd game back from injury. John Abraham will be licking his chops to take Brady to the turf and test out that surgically repaired knee.
Week 4: Bye week.
Week 5: Atlanta Falcons at San Francisco 49ers: The Falcons travel cross country to face the 49ers in what will be our longest distance traveled all season and looks to be a good match up for Matt Ryan to dice up a weak secondary.
Week 6: Chicago Bears vs Atlanta Falcons: The Chicago Bears will come back to the sight of Matt Ryan’s coming out party which saw the rookie QB win the game in the waning seconds. The Bears will be looking to make a statement with Jay Cutler now under center. New face, same result. Sorry Bears!
Week 7: Atlanta Falcons at Dallas Cowboys: The Birds come to the new stadium in Arlington, Texas and face America’s team. Romo and Witten and Ware… oh my! Falcons will look to make a statement this game to prove why we made the playoffs and why the ‘Boys didn’t.
Week 8: Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints: Drew Brees and his potent offense will have to face the potent Falcons offense in what could prove to be a shootout. However it is running games that will set the tempo and will have the Falcons winning in ‘Nawlins.
Week 9: Washington Redskins vs Atlanta Falcons: The Birds come home to face the Rodney Dangerfield of NFL QB’s in Jason Campbell and face a Redskins team that needs something to crow about after a disappointing 2008 season.
Week 10: Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers: The Falcons will certainly be playing for division dominace if all goes to plan here in Charlotte and this could hold a lot of water in deciding who wins the NFC South. Keep this in mind the Carolina Panthers play 15 teams who had winning records last year the only exception is the Buffalo Bills who now have T.O. Can you say Panthers getting beat down? I knew you could.
Week 11: Atlanta Falcons at NY Giants: The toughest run of the schedule comes to a close in week 11 in New Jersey. Atlanta will need to play a solid defense and a very good running back tandem plus word on the street is that the Giants will get another receiver wearing 17 this year by trading for Braylon Edwards.
Week 12: Tampa Bay vs Atlanta Falcons: Atlanta faces the Bucs late in the season yet again to get a feel for Derrick Ward and what should be an interesting game if for no other reason to see who is playing QB for Tampa Bay that week.
Week 13: Philadelphia Eagles vs Atlanta Falcons: Atlanta looks to avenge a really tough loss to Philly in Philly, now it is our turn. McNabb is going to kiss turf in this one and I cannot wait to see it!
Week 14: New Orleans Saints vs Atlanta Falcons: How banged up will Reggie Bush be and how far behind will the Saints be in the NFC South when they play in the Georgia Dome? How bad will the Falcons beat the Saints? These questions will be answered December 13th folks…. stay tuned!
Week 15: Atlanta Falcons at NY Jets: The Falcons make their second trip up to Jersey to play the Jets and face what looks to be a fierce defense but a really depleted offense. Sounds like a job for Matt Ryan and the birds to take the Jets to the land of the loss!
Week 16: Buffalo Bills vs Atlanta Falcons: The T.O. show comes to Atlanta. Will it be a tune up for the Falcons on their way to their first consecutive playoff appearances in franchise history or will it be the classic T.O. needs the ball and that is why the Falcons whupped our asses 36-6. Either way the Falcons win this one.
Week 17: Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay: The Bucs could be in the midst of another late season swoon like the last two years or this could be a rebound year. I am going to go late season swoon!
What do you think about the Falcons schedule?