The last meaningful Atlanta Falcons game may have come the week after their bye when they defeated the New Orleans Saints. But there’s still Super Bowl Sunday, the last meaningful game of the NFL season.
So since the Atlanta Falcons season has been over, let’s take a look at 2020. (And use that perfect vision).
After finishing second in the division and due to the rotation of the NFL schedule, the Falcons will draw the NFC North, AFC West, and other second-place teams in the NFC. But now, they need help from the schedule gods.
Not only do they get five playoff teams, (Saints twice, Seattle, Minnesota, Kansas City, and Green Bay) but they get two teams who advanced to their conference championship games and the potential Super Bowl winner.
But it’s not enough to have to face the Packers and Chiefs the year after deep playoff runs, they also get them on the road. And that’s where the Falcons better hope to be in the graces of the schedule makers.
Best Case Scenario:
The Falcons get the Chiefs on opening night and the Packers in week two or three. The Chiefs set the blueprint for stunning a Super Bowl champ on opening night when they did it to New England a few years ago.
The Patriots got too caught up in the celebration and the Chiefs took it to them. If Atlanta has to travel to Kansas City at any point this season, they’ll hope to do so when it’s warm, and when the Chiefs may be a little hungover from a potential Super Bowl celebration.
Even if they lose in the Super Bowl, players want to get paid, teams break up, and they have a shorter off-season. The Falcons could sneak them early.
Not to mention it’s best to catch Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill when they may still be sleepwalking. Add in Travis Kelce and that offense rolling could be something the Falcons defense won’t want to contend with deeper into the season.
Same with Green Bay. It’s no secret the Packers will add weapons for Aaron Rodgers. And Matt Ryan versus Rodgers is always a classic. But a trip to Lambeau early on isn’t as daunting as it may be a few weeks later.
The Falcons also benefit by getting two early road test to start the season and see where they’re really at.
Worst Case Scenario:
Take everything you just read but drop the temperature by about 60 degrees. When it gets cold at Lambeau or Arrowhead, it gets louder and it gets harder to win.
Come to the end of the season, the Falcons will *hopefully* be in the throngs of a playoff push and they will need every easy win they can get. Easy and a road game at Kansas City and Green Bay in the cold weather don’t exist.
Sure, if the Falcons want to accomplish their goals next year, they are going to have to beat good teams and win the tough ones. But why make it harder on yourself. The last thing the Falcons should want to do is travel up north and play outside post week 10.
So NFL schedule makers, should you be reading this, help the Atlanta Falcons out next year.