5 Games the Atlanta Falcons can't afford to drop after schedule release

Atlanta Falcons OTA Offseason Workout
Atlanta Falcons OTA Offseason Workout / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
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1. Pittsburgh Steelers

The timing of this game and what's ahead the very next week demands a victory from a team competing for a playoff spot. A game that could have simply been viewed as a heated reunion is now an important win based on what is coming for the Falcons the very next week. The Falcons should win this game with Russell Wilson expected to be starting and Arthur Smith calling the offense.

If there is one obvious concern in this matchup it is T.J. Watt. There is a very real possibility that you are going to consistently be asking Kaleb McGary to protect Kirk Cousins against Watt. Considering how McGary has looked against lesser talents with far more mobile quarterbacks this is an obvious concern.

We will have a great idea very early on in the season how locked in McGary is and how concerned fans and the team should be about the right tackle position. You also have the fact that you cannot afford to lose to Arthur Smith with how he managed the media, team, and how he exited Atlanta.

It would be a huge start to turn the page on Smith and lock in a win. Aside from the want to beat a former head coach, this game is key to Atlanta's playoff hopes with the schedule layout.