To most media pundits, the Atlanta Falcons don’t necessarily have either a great team composition, a good front office, or a winnable schedule entering the 2022 season. In fact, in relation to the latter, most can’t find the Falcons winning any games before training camp, with many approaching the Falcons as a “first overall pick in 2023” watch team.
Honestly, while it’s a feasible possibility, the Falcons might actually surprise some people in 2022, because there are a lot more winnable games than meets the eye.
The Atlanta Falcons could feasibly fight for a final playoff spot, with a lot of help naturally.
For reference, Atlanta’s schedule goes in the following order:
- Week One: VS. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (1PM, FOX)
- Week Two: @ LOS ANGELES RAMS (4:05PM, FOX)
- Week Three: @ SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (4:25PM, FOX)
- Week Four: VS. CLEVELAND BROWNS (1PM, FOX)
- Week Five: @ TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (1PM, FOX)
- Week Six: VS. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (1PM, FOX)
- Week Seven: @ CINCINNATI BENGALS (1PM, FOX)
- Week Eight: VS. CAROLINA PANTHERS (1PM, FOX)
- Week Nine: VS. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (1PM, FOX)
- Week 10: @ CAROLINA PANTHERS (8:15PM, AMAZON PRIME)
- Week 11: VS. CHICAGO BEARS (1PM, FOX)
- Week 12: @ WASHINGTON COMMANDERS (1PM, FOX)
- Week 13: VS. PITTSBURGH STEELERS (1PM, FOX)
- Week 14: BYE
- Week 15: @ NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (1PM, FOX)
- Week 16: @ BALTIMORE RAVENS (1PM, FOX)
- Week 17: VS. ARIZONA CARDINALS (1PM, FOX)
- Week 18: VS. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (TBD)
Now, at first glance given that header, it’s easy to cast aspersions and stones on that claim. Yet, while last year wasn’t great and the final year of the Matt Ryan era in Atlanta, one has to remember a few points:
- Atlanta won most of their games without a feasible receiving corps, now referred to as a bottom-five group even with all the new additions
- The offensive line is still as porous as the Swiss cheese one puts on a corned beef sandwich
- Atlanta beat the teams they were supposed to last year, yet lost to perennial contenders
- Going 7-10 to get the EIGHTH overall pick shows a lot more parity than meets the eye
Getting back to the subject matter, if we look at what’s transpired this offseason, it’s easy to just throw away the year and move on to 2023, when the outlook appears better. While that’s true, these players and coaches are not going to mail it in; rather, they’re going to play their hearts out for 60 minutes every Sunday and one Thursday night.
Which leads to the games they could feasibly win. Right now, entering the final month before training camp (and the end of mandatory minicamp OTAs), there are only six games the Falcons could possibly emerge victorious in:
Week One against the Saints
Week Three against the Seahawks
Week Four against the Browns (wow, 3-1 to start the year)
Week 10 against the Panthers
Week 11 against the Bears
Week 12 against the Commanders (three-game winning streak??)
Again, this is strictly premised on the pre-training camp notion, but to win six games would be pretty impressive for the first time the team hasn’t had a tombstoned-set quarterback since 2008. In fact, should Atlanta win these six aforementioned games, they would cash in at the sportsbooks since current over/under totals have the Falcons winning 5.0 games.
That said, we won’t truly know what Falcons team we’re going to see until the preseason.