The Atlanta Falcons just announced they are playing an international home game during the 2020 NFL Season with the exact opponent to be determined.
The Atlanta Falcons decided to give up a home and will have a long season ahead of them. The decision to give up a home game in a year where the Falcons play the AFC West is foolish.
The last time the Falcons played an international game was during the 2014 NFL season where the Falcons lost a close game to the Detroit Lions. The Falcons had a 21-3 lead in the third quarter and lost the game 22-21. Matt Prater hit a 48-yard field goal with no time left.
The Falcons will be playing in Mexico City or London this year. The best-case scenario is the game is scheduled for Mexico City and the game is moved back to Atlanta similar to the Rams-Chiefs game last year. That game was scheduled to be in Mexico City but moved to Los Angeles instead because of the field conditions.
Teams that give up home games have terrible travel schedules during the season. This season the Oakland Raiders went 49 days without a home game because they decided to give up a home game to play in London against the Chicago Bears. The Raiders played the Kansas City Chiefs on September 15th and did not have a home game until November 3rd against the Detroit Lions.
Knowing the Falcons luck, they will have a travel schedule similar to the Raiders that will hurt the team. One of the biggest issues the Falcons have is self-inflicted wounds and they continue to put themselves in a bad position by making these types of moves.
Here are the potential opponents for the international game in 2020:
- Carolina Panthers
- New Orleans Saints
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Chicago Bears
- Detroit Lions
- Denver Broncos
- Oakland Raiders
The Atlanta Falcons are struggling with attendance during the 2019 season and they are going to alienate fans even more by giving up a home game. The Falcons should have agreed to be the road team in an international game.
Historically bad franchises like the Jacksonville Jaguars always give up a home game. The premier franchises like the New England Patriots are always the road team in international games.