The Atlanta Falcons have one of the toughest schedules in the NFL; however, there are five games that should not scare any Falcons fan.
The Atlanta Falcons schedule is difficult, that is not new information and has been discussed at length. In 2019, the Falcons will face six teams that made the NFC/AFC playoffs and seven teams overall that had winning records in 2018.
Winning in the National Football League is extremely difficult. Schedules are set with the thought that every team go 8-8. Win your eight homes games and lose your eight road games. Good teams win more while terrible teams under-perform.
When looking at the Falcons schedule, the Atlanta Falcons will for sure win five games in 2019. That leaves them with 11 games remaining to win five more to be among the upper echelon in the standings come playoff time.
1. Tennessee Titans – 9.29.19
Marcus Mariota, Tajae Sharpe, Corey Davis, Adam Humphries and Derrick Henry. That offensive lineup does not scare anyone, let alone a Falcons defense that will be among the elite in 2019. Delanie Walker may present an issue for some teams from his tight end spot, but Deion Jones will be ready.
Mariota’s ability to run can make him dangerous at time. As an average passer in the NFL, he will not test a Falcons secondary that will be the weakest link defensively. The Falcons defense is predicated on speed and will be ready for whatever the Titans throw at them.
Defensively, Tennessee has a couple nice pieces in Malcolm Butler, Kenny Vaccaro and Harold Landry. However, they do not have enough to contain let alone stop a Falcons offense that will should be finding its stride by week four.
2. At Arizona Cardinals – 10.13.19
The love affair media and fans have with quarterbacks coming out of college is nauseating. Kyler Murray is a shiny new toy that no one has played with yet, so everyone is declaring him the best toy ever made because of what he accomplished against some of the worst defenses that college football has ever seen.
Other than David Johnson, Arizona does not have anyone offensively that will make the Falcons defense work harder than they need to in order to win this game. With a rookie QB, Dan Quinn will have his defense presenting a wide range of pre-snap and post snap looks in order to confuse Murray that will make his day very tough.
Defensively, the Cardinals feature Patrick Peterson, Chandler Jones, Corey Peters and an ancient Terrell Suggs. Peterson may be the league’s best corner, but if he is on Julio that leaves former Falcons CB Robert Alford to cover Ridley and Sanu. That match-up will favor the Falcons.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars – 12.22.19
Last off-season Jaguars corner back Jalen Ramsey made headlines for all the wrong reasons when he decided to give his take on players around the NFL. Of course, he had to open his mouth about Matt Ryan, a player he had never even played against. Ramsey decided it was a good idea to call Matt “overrated” and claimed that in 2017, Matt was a “complete bust”.
Sure, they faced off for a few moments during last year’s pre-season schedule, but Ramsey is going to get a full 60 minutes of Matt Ryan in late December.
If this game comes down to Matt Ryan or Jalen Ramsey needing to make one play, give me Matt Ryan and another win. However, this game will be a Falcons blowout heading into the fourth quarter.
4. At San Francisco 49ers – 12.15.19
Jimmy Garoppolo gets a lot of love for spending time as Tom Brady’s backup. NFL media has proclaimed him to be the next great NFL QB and many of them have gone on record ranking him higher than Matt Ryan, which is beyond absurd.
The 49ers may have the best set of offensive tackles in the NFL with Joe Staley and Matt Ryan’s cousin Mike McGlinchey. Former Atlanta Falcons backup running back Tevin Coleman is expected to win the starting role and the only proven weapon the 49ers boast is wide receiver Jordan Mathews. George Kittle took the NFL by storm in 2018, can he do it again in 2019?
Defensively, the 49ers have one of the best lines in football anchored by DeForest Buckner and will feature rookie Nick Bosa out of Ohio State. Their secondary will have a time keeping track of Calvin Ridley, Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 11.24.19
This is low hanging fruit. Cheap pick to say the least. The Falcons will be the best in the division in 2019 and foresee them going at least 4-2 with a real chance at 5-1 if not 6-0.
However, the Bucs are just terrible. Sure, they added Ndamukong Suh, but they also cut Gerald McCoy loose. Suh is a beast, but he has no tag team partner and Alex Mack and whichever two guards end up starting for the Falcons, will be up to the task.
Jameis Winston is as overrated a player in the league as you will find. Mike Evans is a top seven wide receiver and Peyton Barber is adequate. Deion Jones on OJ Howard is a match-up that goes the Falcons way eight out of ten times.
The Falcons will sweep the Bucs twice in 2019. Count on it.