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Sizing up the Atlanta Falcons' 2016 slate of opponents

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We now know exactly who the Falcons will face in 2016, and it's a mixed bag for the team.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

With one small exception, we know exactly who the Falcons will be facing in 2016. The good news is that they'll be at home for some of the toughest matchups on the slate, but the bad news is that it's objectively going to be tougher sledding than the 2015 schedule offered.

Because the Falcons are locked into second place in the NFC South, they'll be getting the second place team from the NFC East on the road (either the Giants or the Eagles) and the second place team from the NFC North (either the Packers or Vikings, depending on Week 17 results) at home. Here's the full list of opponents.

Home

Carolina, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Arizona, San Francisco, Kansas City, San Diego, Packers/Vikings

Away

Carolina, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, St. Louis, Seattle, Denver, Oakland, Eagles/New York Giants

Those road games against Seattle, Denver, and Oakland promise to be difficult ones, and home games against the Packers/Vikings, Cardinals, and Chiefs are challenging without even mentioning the NFC South. The Falcons may get some breaks with consecutive home games, but we'll have to see.

With any luck and a lot of skill, the Falcons will be better in 2016, and they'll need to be in order to make a playoff push with some very tough teams on the docket.