Atlanta Falcons Schedule Release: List of Opponents, Dates, Times

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With the NFL Draft solely in the rearview mirror, it's not hyperbole to say the Atlanta Falcons have truly improved their roster. Adding playmakers across the board, fortifying their already top-tier running game, giving Grady Jarrett some help, and having their rookie don arguably the most famous (infamous?) number in franchise history not named Deion Sanders, the future's looking bright in the periphery.

Of course, while there's still the organized team activities (OTAs) currently under production and the mandatory June minicamp prior to the official start of training camp in July, there's one other major point in the offseason calendar to note: the schedule release.

With relation to the schedule, the Falcons are playing what's known as a "fourth-place" schedule because they finished in fourth place in the NFC South (technically a three-way tie, but divisional games proved tantamount as always). While that's a positive in the sense that their strength-of-schedule is low, combined with the fact that they played in highly competitive games last year, there's a sign for hope in 2023's list of opponents.

Slate of opponents for the Atlanta Falcons in 2023

In 2023, the Falcons are slated to face the following teams:
Carolina Panthers (twice)
New Orleans Saints (twice)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (twice)
AFC South
NFC North
Arizona Cardinals
Washington Commanders
New York Jets (away)

For fans, media, and the team alike, the schedule release is almost like Christmas: it's a present that delivers. Teams have gone all out as well in recent years with their social teams making incredible videos about their opponents (much like Atlanta did with the Rube Goldberg machine subtly dropping the return of the red helmets):

Atlanta Falcons official schedule

The NFL recently released all 32 teams' schedules in a special showing on NFL Network, and the Falcons' schedule was revealed to be as follows (times/networks in parentheses):

Week One: vs. Carolina (1PM, FOX)
Week Two: vs. Green Bay (1PM, FOX)
Week Three: @ Detroit (1PM, FOX)
Week Four: @ Jacksonville (9:30AM, ESPN+)
Week Five: vs. Houston (1PM, FOX)
Week Six: vs. Washington (1PM, CBS)
Week Seven: @ Tampa Bay (1PM, FOX)
Week Eight: @ Tennessee (1PM, CBS)
Week Nine: vs. Minnesota (1PM, FOX)
Week 10: @ Arizona (4:05PM, CBS)
Week 11: BYE
Week 12: vs. New Orleans (1PM, FOX)
Week 13: @ New York (1PM, FOX)
Week 14: vs. Tampa Bay (1PM, CBS)
Week 15: @ Carolina (TBD)
Week 16: vs. Indianapolis (1PM, FOX)
Week 17: @ Chicago (1PM, CBS)
Week 18: @ New Orleans (TBD)

Also, shout out to the Atlanta legend Quavo alongside multiple individuals involved in the making of the Falcons' 2023 schedule release video, which is linked below:

Now, at first glance, the Falcons schedule does look very manageable. Some points to note:

- Only one game in a "solo" window, that being against the Jaguars in London
- They open with four stretches of consecutive games being either home or away
- They face Green Bay and Detroit in consecutive weeks since 2017 when Mercedes-Benz Stadium first opened
- Bye week is Week 11, which bodes well for any late-season playoff push
- Minus the bye week, Weeks 8-17 follow another trend of home/away
- First time since the 2020 season the home finale is two weeks before the regular season finale
- The opening matchup against Carolina is the first time they've faced in Week One since the 2006 season (a 20-6 win for the good guys)
- The Falcons will face the top three quarterbacks drafted in the recent NFL Draft (Bryce Young, CJ Stroud, Anthony Richardson) with a chance to face Will Levis around midseason
- Historically, there's one game that's a guaranteed loss (Indianapolis; Atlanta's 2-15 lifetime against the Colts)

Essentially, with the way the schedule looks, combined with what many believe the state of the division to once again be in 2023, it's not out of the realm to label the Falcons a "favorite" to win and host a playoff game for the first time since the 2016 NFC Championship game. Ah, simpler times. But like that 2016 season, one which totally didn't end with anything negative, the Falcons are poised to be a team that could very well reach double-digit win totals, but nothing like a top seed in the NFC playoffs.

Of course, as one is astute to note: the Falcons are not worthy of any "primetime" games this year as of the schedule release. No games on Monday night, Thursday night, or Sunday night. While that is "detrimental" given how the team has massively exceeded expectations of the media and broadcasting partners, keep in mind that games from Weeks 5-17 are subject to the NFL's flex scheduling policy. To sum up: if Atlanta wins (which they will), then networks will want to televise their games in standalone time frames and not hidden behind an ESPN+ paywall.

Keep an eye out closer to the start of the regular season as I will be going through each game on the schedule and making official predictions about how the season went. For note: last year the record on the prediction article was 13-4, so pretty good notwithstanding. Even better: the final record was dead on as well (7-10)

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