Falcons Schedule 2013: The Road To Relevance Is Bumpy

Scott Cunningham

The Falcons face some stiff tests in the weeks ahead.

With a 1-3 record on the season and the bye week approaching, I thought this was a useful time to look at the NFC South schedule going forward and figure out if the Falcons have a reasonable chance of turning this one around.

Here's the schedule in full:

vs. Jets
vs. Bucs
@Cardinals
@Panthers
vs. Seahawks
@Bucs
vs. Saints
@Bills
@Packers
vs. Redskins
@49ers
vs. Panthers

Perusing this schedule, it's not hard to see the Falcons turning things around in the next few weeks. The Jets, Bucs and Cardinals are all mediocre teams or worse this year, and the Falcons get two of them at home. Playing on the road against the Panthers won't necessarily be easy, but the Panthers are still coached by Ron Rivera.

After that, things get interesting. The Seahawks aren't the same team on the road, so that's winnable if the Falcons make course corrections over the next five weeks. The Bucs are a mess and are likely to still be. The Saints at home, the Packers on the Road and the 49ers on the road are the three truly difficult matchups in the second half of the season, though the Panthers, Redskins and Bills aren't to be taken lightly.

Ultimately, this season could break a few different ways. The Falcons could reel off a four game winning streak and move to 5-3 before they have to play the Seahawks at home, and they could take advantage of the home game against the Seahawks and the struggling Bucs to roll to 7-3. From there, playing .500 ball the rest of the way would get them to 10-6, which should be good for a Wild Card. They could do even better than that if 'Spoon, Jackson and others come back and contribute at a high level.

They could also scuffle, drop their road games to the Cardinals and Panthers and wind up at 3-5. That means they're facing an uphill battle with three very, very rough games in the second half. In this scenario, if they lost all three of the Saints/Packers/49ers games, the best they could hope for would be 8-8. That means a very disappointing season and some rough conversations in the off-season.

This could go either way. If the Falcons can make small but tangible improvements across the board, they can probably start ripping off some wins. If they continue to be mired in the morass of poor execution, questionable coaching and lousy red zone play, things could continue to go south.

Your thoughts on the schedule?

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join The Falcoholic

You must be a member of The Falcoholic to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Falcoholic. You should read them.

Join The Falcoholic

You must be a member of The Falcoholic to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Falcoholic. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker