Everything I've ever said about predictions being generally stupid and not worthwhile flies out the window the moment I'm called upon to do it myself. With basically no information to go on aside from the schedule itself, I'm going to dig deep into my inner soothsayer and sayer myself some sooths. You should all probably put on Hazmat suits.
Join me after the jump as I briefly run down each and every game of the season, but don't hold me responsible for the results. Make sure you list your own predictions in the comments so we can all make fun of eachother when the season wraps up.
Win, 1-0, vs. Miami Dolphins: The Dolphins are the AFC equivalent of the Falcons, a young team with a ton of promise who could be a force for years to come. Even with their obvious strenght as an opponent, I can't see them showing up the Falcons in the Georgia Dome in the first week of the season, though it'll probably be a shootout.
Win, 2-0, vs. Carolina Panthers: No offense to the fine folks at Cat Scratch Reader, but I think there's a good chance they end up in the basement of the NFC South. That may be a 7-9 record with the strength of this division, but I think the Falcons will handle their business at home.
Loss, 2-1, @ New England Patriots: I know everyone's a little uncertain if Tom Brady is going to be healthy enough to play at a high level at the beginning of the season. Honestly, I think he'll be fine, and New England remains one of the most frightening teams in the league. The Falcons will be competitive, but ultimately they'll fall in Foxboro.
Bye Week: Matt Ryan will save orphans from a fire, Michael Turner will bulldoze down a few buildings, John Abraham will tear a quarterback limb from limb for sport, and Dave the Falconer will meet his evil doppelganger and then drink him under the table. What a week!
Win, 3-1, @ San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers have some very talented defensive pieces and could be a force with a smart draft. It won't be enough to help them beat the Falcons, however.
Loss, 3-2, vs. Chicago Bears: The Bears will stun everyone this season as Jay Cutler gets rolling with a group of young receivers and their defense does the rest. The Falcons can't pull off a repeat of last year's thrilling last second victory, and the offense is truly stymied for the first time all season.
Win, 4-2, @ Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys stumble out of the gate a bit and the Falcons take advantage. Despite some obvious gains on defense, the Cowboys are shakier than most expect and the Falcons bludgeon them to death with Michael Turner.
Loss, 4-3, @ New Orleans Saints: The Saints prove too tough a challenge at home, as the Falcons fall before a very strong offensive effort. Our Cajun rivals show a porous defense once again, though, which ends up coming back to bite them later in the season. Oops, spoiler!
Win, 5-3, vs. Washington Redskins: In the end, the Redskins and new acquisition Albert Haynesworth are stuck in the mud. A decent team with some holes, the 'Skins aren't able to overcome a determined Falcon defense still smarting from a loss in New Orleans the week before. Carnage ensues.
Win, 6-3, @ Carolina Panthers: Sorry again, Panther fans. This one's closer when the Falcons lose the dome-field advantage, but it ends up mattering little. The Falcons deal another grievous blow to our teal enemies and are two-thirds of the way to that magic winning season.
Loss, 6-4, @ New York Giants: The Giants have filled numerous holes on defense and filled the spot of Plaxico Burress with young, capable receivers. This game ends up being the most lopsided loss of the year for the Falcons.
Win, 7-4, vs. Tampa Bay Bucs: The Bucs are better than expected under new head coach Raheem Morris and put up a good fight, but the Falcons aren't having any of it. Fairly easy victory at home for the 'Birds.
Win, 8-4, vs. Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles re-tool a little bit in 2009, giving the Falcons an opening against a team that has historically played them very tough. For the second straight week, the team puts the game out of reach late.
Win, 9-4, vs. New Orleans Saints: I already ruined it for you. The Falcons come out slinging and simply outshoot the Saints, whose defense epically collapses about halfway through the game. Pick a high score and I'll believe it.
Loss, 9-5, @ New York Jets: One of the most surprising teams in the league for a second straight year, the Jets roll out a very good defense and trip up the Falcons on unfamiliar turf.
Win, 10-5, vs. Buffalo Bills: My friend the Bills fans weeps and gnashes his teeth anew as the Falcons send their foes from Buffalo back to the tundra with a loss. A gelling defensive unit provides several stops against a decent Bills offense.
Loss, 10-6, @ Tampa Bay Bucs: The Bucs surprise once more and pull out a close one. Dave the Falconer swears repeatedly.
I didn't plan out any grand win or loss total before I started this. Instead, I just went with each individual game and ended up with a result I think most of us would be thrilled with. I recognize that this schedule has the Falcons making it through the entire season without back-to-back losses, but that seems appropriate given that we'll finally be breaking our most ignoble record.
This is all wildly irresponsible, of course.