When you look at the Falcons schedule for 2013, perceptions and reality may clash a bit.
On paper, this schedule looks tougher than 2012. The Patriots are always great, the Buccaneers look improved, the Packers are a royal pain in the tail feathers and the Seahawks will play this team tough. Aside from the woeful Jets, there's not really a pushover on the slate.
The time has come to squash the fear that accompanies a tough-looking schedule. There are three reasons I say that:
- This team, when healthy, can beat anyone in the NFL
- No team performs exactly the way you expect, and some of these teams may actually be weaker
- The Falcons may actually be better than they were in 2012
None of these things are guarantees. It's safe to assume the 49ers won't be a pushover, as they've added some nice pieces. You can't assume the Falcons will stay healthy. But we have five seasons of evidence that this team is capable of winning bushels of regular season games, because they have so much firepower and such an opportunistic defense. They can be beaten, sure, but this is a very good football team that has had regular season success against many of the best teams in the NFL.
It's a given that the Falcons won't win 13 games again. There's a little bit of luck and skill involved in doing so, and this schedule does offer up more elite opponents. As long as they stay healthy, though, the Falcons are headed for another successful regular season.
Do you agree?