NFL giving Atlanta Falcons chance to avenge three years of frustrations

Atlanta Falcons v Chicago Bears
Atlanta Falcons v Chicago Bears / Quinn Harris/GettyImages

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Atlanta Falcons is a week one matchup that matters to few outside of the respective fanbases. For the Steelers, it is a key game they need to win in an impossible division in the NFC. It is the debut for either Justin Fields or Russell Wilson, offering what Steelers fans hope is a new chapter for the offense.

Mike Tomlin's Steelers showing up to play at a high level can be counted on. No matter the opponent Tomlin has a reputation for having his team ready to fight. This is especially the case in week one in a game that perhaps means a bit more to Atlanta.

If healthy, this will be the debut of Kirk Cousins and new head coach Raheem Morris. Morris, however, isn't the coach many Falcons fans will have their focus on. That particular honor goes to current Steelers' offensive coordinator Arthur Smith.

Atlanta can hand Arthur Smith his first loss as the Steelers' OC

The 2023 Atlanta season was perhaps best defined by Arthur Smith's forlorn looks up at the scoreboard. Looking to the heavens hoping they had answers he so obviously lacked. Smith was the king of running plays that were unexpected for obvious reasons.

Whether it was a Jonnu Smith sweep, or refusing to use his best players in key spots the offensive management was maddening. Add in Smith's demeanor with the Atlanta media and the frustration was at an incredible high by the end of his tenure.

The NFL has perfectly set up Atlanta to get early revenge with a week one matchup against the Steelers. The NFL's ability to craft the schedule and time their events throughout the year is unlike any other league.

Arthur Smith's failures and frustrations with the head coach will still feel fresh for many fans in week one. While perhaps deep into the season it is a forgotten piece of the puzzle in a playoff hunt. Add in two weeks of facing the Eagles and Chiefs after this game and the importance is further magnified.

This game means more to Atlanta fans based on the impact on the rest of the season and what Arthur Smith put this franchise through. Smith's ego was unable to hand off play-calling duties or add a much-needed quarterback. It is what doomed the head coach and caused what were three wasted years for a franchise desperate to return to relevance.