Predicting how every Atlanta Falcons game will end in 2023

How will the Falcons end up in a strong top conference but a ripe-for-the-picking division?
Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home of the Atlanta Falcons
Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home of the Atlanta Falcons / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages
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Aaron Rodgers, Sauce Gardner
New York Jets / Sarah Stier/GettyImages


After regaining the overall series lead against the hated Saints, Atlanta travels north to East Rutherford for a date with the completely reloaded New York Jets. This game is the NFL's 17-game schedule slate where teams play a non-conference opponent in a rotating division (location flips every year) based on where a team finishes in the previous year's standings. Because Atlanta finished 7-10 and in fourth, this gave them the Jets on the road.

This Jets team is certainly not the Jets team Atlanta faced in London two years ago, or even the Jets teams of old. Rather, this team has moxie and potential to end the league's current longest playoff drought of 12 years, and for good reason. Of course, the biggest move they made was signing three-time NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers from the Packers, all but signaling the end of the Zach Wilson era. Rodgers has some great young players around him, most notably the Offensive Rookie of the Year in Garrett Wilson alongside Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb, two players Rodgers loved to throw to in Green Bay. Furthermore, we can't deny that the Jets have two incredible linemen in Alijah Vera-Tucker and Mekhi Becton to pave holes for Breece Hall, Dalvin Cook, and Michael Carter II.

Defensively, the Jets' front seven boasts incredible threats in Jermaine Johnson II, Quinnen Williams, Will McDonald IV, John Franklin-Myers, and CJ Mosley. Meanwhile, this will be a true test between former Bearcat teammates in Desmond Ridder and current Defensive Rookie of the Year, cornerback Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner. They say the best make each other better; Ridder and Sauce know each other like the back of their hands, so whoever Gardner's covering will be a matchup to watch.

Now, for the fun stat about this game: can you name how many times the Falcons and Jets have played in the week immediately following the Thanksgiving holiday in northern New Jersey? Here's a hint: it's less than the number of digits on one finger.

Yes, that's right: Atlanta has played the Jets this late into the season up north three times, once right before Christmas 2009 and the other two happening right after Thanksgiving. In these three contests, the Falcons are 2-1 against the Jets; that said, the Falcons actually lose the average PPG battle against the Jets in these three games (NYJ: 18.0; ATL: 15.0).

Look for Atlanta to win a tight contest against this resurgent Jets team that could very well be playing in January.