The Atlanta Falcons will face some of the league’s best during the 2019 NFL season. No better way to prepare for your Super Bowl run than by facing the best there is on the way there.
The NFL did the Atlanta Falcons no favors when putting together their 2019 schedule. Some were taken aback by the number of playoff teams that a team with a losing record will face the following year. However, the league did a great job in making sure the Falcons do not have to play a cold weather game all year, which matters to dome teams.
Good teams are usually directed by good quarterbacks. Playing in the NFC South, the Falcons are accustomed to playing against some of the best several times a year. Not debatable is the fact that NFC South has three quarterbacks that have won an MVP award at some point during their career; Matt Ryan and Cam Newton each have a regular season MVP and Drew Brees has a Super Bowl MVP award.
The Falcons play several teams that made the playoffs in 2018 and look to return there in 2019. They also face some of the best young quarterback talent that the NFL has to offer. After looking though every metric possible, here are the top five quarterbacks the Falcons will face in 2019.
1. Drew Brees
Hall of fame quarterback. Even as he enters his 19th year in the NFL, he is still as dangerous as he has ever been. Brees has led the NFL in passing yards seven times during his career and at times has been the lone bright spot for some really bad Saints teams.
Drew Brees has had a lot of success versus the Falcons over the years and I mean a lot. He has faced the Falcons a total of 27 times; 26 with New Orleans and once with the Chargers. During those 27 games, Brees is 722/1054 for 8,224 yards, 53 touchdowns, and 27 interceptions. More importantly he is 18-9 versus the birds. The Falcons do lead the overall series, 52-48.
Let’s hope 2019 brings more fortune for the Falcons than it does for Brees and the Saints.
While the Saints and Falcons have one of the nastiest rivalries in the NFL, the Seahawks and the Falcons are among the newly forming rivalries thanks in large part Dan Quinn and how he has constructed the Falcons roster to resemble what he had in Seattle.
Unlike Drew Brees, Wilson has not had a lot of success versus the Falcons. During his career, the two teams have met four times – twice during the regular season and twice during the post season. The only win Wilson has logged ended on a controversial no call as Julio Jones was mugged by former Seahawks defensive back Richard Sherman. Overall, Wilson is 95/151 1,138 yards, six touchdowns and four interceptions. The Seahawks do lead the series, 10-8.
This matchup will be a little emotional for Deshaun. If you have lived under a rock and do not know Deshaun’s history with the Atlanta Falcons, let me catch you up to speed.
Deshaun and his siblings were raised by a single mother in Gainesville, GA and at the age of 12 they were given a home by former Falcons running back Warrick Dunn; a home his mom still lives in to this day.
Deshaun was also a Falcons ball boy and locker room attendant while establishing himself as a high school football legend for the Gainesville Red Elephants. He has always been very open about his love for the Atlanta Falcons.
Deshaun has never faced the Falcons during his brief career, but we can be assured that he and DeAndre Hopkins will be ready to play when the Falcons visit the Texans the first week in October.
4. Nick Foles
Drafted out of Arizona by the Philadelphia Eagles and Andy Reid in 2012, Reid believed that he had his quarterback of the future, however, that all changed at the end of the season when Reid took the head coaching job in Kansas City.
Chip Kelly would spend another draft pick on USC quarterback Matt Barley in 2013 to compete with Mike Vick and Nick Foles. Foles would eventually end up winning the job and was also a named a pro bowl quarterback in just his second year.
Fast forward several years to 2017. Foles played for both the Rams and the Chiefs, found himself out of football only to be called by the Eagles once again to backup Carson Wentz. Foles would end up leading the Eagles to a Super Bowl win against the Patriots and was named the MVP.
He is now the starting quarterback in Jacksonville and will face the Falcons for just the third time in his career. Despite never throwing a touchdown in their two previous meetings, Foles in 2-0 versus the Falcons.
5. Andrew Luck
Honestly, we could have put Cam Newton here, but when you miss an international flight and then get embarrassed in a viral video, you miss the list.
Andrew Luck seems to have turned the corner in 2018 after missing the entire 2017 season. Luck completed a career high 67% of his attempts in 2018 and threw 39 touchdowns while leading the Colts back to playoffs for the first time since 2014.
Luck is surrounded by loads of talent on both sides of the ball and has one of the better offensive lines in football. If Luck is given time to throw the football, he will be a nightmare for the Falcons secondary if they are not ready to play. Luck has never faced the Falcons in his career as he was injured when these two teams played in 2015. Overall, the Falcons and Colts have played 16 times with the Colts winning 14 of the 16 games.
The Falcons will face other good quarterbacks in 2018 as well. The previously mentioned Cam Newton, Jimmy Garoppolo, Carson Wentz, Jared Goff and Kirk Cousins are also on the schedule. The Falcons defense will primed and tested come playoff time, which should be an advantage for the Falcons once they get there.