The NFL did the Atlanta Falcons no favors with their 2020-21 schedule. The Falcons alternate home and away for the first 11 games of the season.
That can make it tough for this team to get in a groove.
When the Atlanta Falcons struggle, there’s nothing better than “Dome Field Advantage.” They haven’t had much of it recently, but in a still-new stadium, with new uniforms, and people anxious to return to a normal way of life, Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be rocking this year. The Falcons also got a home game back after the NFL moved their international game versus Denver to Atlanta.
But there’s something to be said about getting into a rhythm and groove. When you’re preparing for a home stretch or a road stretch, you can get your mind right. When there are back to back West Coast games, the Falcons can stay out there and not have to deal with the timezone shift. Adjusting to playing in a new stadium is hard enough. Coupled with trying to win games against teams who were just in the playoffs last year.
The only saving grace is during the 11 game stretch when the Falcons are alternating between Atlanta and elsewhere, they only go to the central time zone. At the very least, their longest trip will be heading to Minnesota yet again.
We are going to learn the truth about this Falcons team early on. They will tussle with the Seahawks, the Bears D, the Cowboys in Dallas, and a Monday night matchup at Lambeau Field. Atlanta has no time to settle in and find out how its pieces may get together.
If they are going to save Dan Quinn’s job and make an actual push for the playoffs, they’ll have to find some consistency in a schedule that provides anything but.
It’ll be a tough test for a team that could have a shortened offseason. But Matt Ryan is a veteran and he’s going into year two under Koetter’s system. The Atlanta Falcons can’t afford to slip up early on. And if they go into their week 10 anywhere close to .500 or worse. We can expect to come out of it with a new coach.