We've all been making predictions about the Falcons' 2015 season without knowing the schedule, but now we can make slightly more educated guesses. The NFL has released the complete Falcons schedule today.
At first glance, this is a more favorable schedule than 2014, when the Falcons had a brutal road stretch, a trip to London and tough games against a competent NFC North. They're catching the 49ers at the right time, for example, and this is a much more balanced home/road slate. Dallas, Philadelphia, Houston and Indianapolis loom as legitimately difficult matchups, but at least the Falcons will catch the Eagles, Colts and Texans at home in the Georgia Dome.
It's worth noting that the Falcons' early strength of schedule is just .410, which means they have (on paper) the easiest schedule in the entire NFL.
Enough speculation, though. Here's the schedule.
2015 Atlanta Falcons schedule
Week 1: Philadelphia Eagles, 7:10 p.m., Monday, September 14
Week 2: @New York Giants, 1 p.m., Sunday, September 20
Week 3: @Dallas Cowboys, 1 p.m., Sunday, September 27
Week 4: Houston Texans, 1 p.m., Sunday, October 4
Week 5 Washington Redskins, 1 p.m., Sunday, October 11
Week 6: @New Orleans Saints, Thursday, October 15
Week 7: @Tennessee Titans, 1 p.m., Sunday, October 25
Week 8: Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1 p.m., Sunday, November 1
Week 9: @San Francisco 49ers, 4:05 p.m., Sunday, November 8
Week 10: BYE WEEK
Week 11: Indianapolis Colts, 1 p.m., Sunday, November 22
Week 12: Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m., Sunday, November 29
Week 13: @Buccaneers, 1 p.m., Sunday, December 6
Week 14: @Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m., Sunday, December 13
Week 15: @Jacksonville Jaguars, 1 p.m., Sunday, December 20
Week 16: Panthers, 1 p.m., Sunday, December 27
Week 17: Saints, 1 p.m., Sunday, January 3
Strength of schedule: .410 opponent winning percentage
The Falcons have, as I said, a reasonably easy schedule on paper.The Falcons have two primetime games in 2015, both in the first half of the season, with one opening the year at home against the Eagles and the second coming on the road on Thursday night against the Saints.
Overall, this is a nice, balanced schedule. The Falcons get the Colts, Texans, and Eagles at home, which cuts down on the degree of difficulty in otherwise challenging games. Their bye week falls right in the middle of the year, the second half schedule has the NFC South, the Jaguars and the Colts and 49ers at home...I mean, this isn't that bad at all. If the Falcons have and continue to legitimately upgrade their talent, a winning record is within sight.
Here's the preseason schedule, or what we know of it thus far.
Week 1: Tennessee Titans, 7 p.m., Friday, August 14
Week 2: @New York Jets, 7:30 p.m., Friday, August 21
Week 3: @Miami Dolphins, 7 p.m., Saturday, August 29
Week 4: Baltimore Ravens, 7 p.m., Thursday, September 3
For those interested, here's the available list of opponents from 2016-2018, too. Keep in mind the mystery teams are determined later, and this schedule can change without warning because the NFL is capricious.
2016 Falcons schedule
Home: Carolina, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Arizona, San Francisco, Kansas City, San Diego, NFC North team
Away: Carolina, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, St. Louis, Seattle, Denver, Oakland, NFC East team
2017 Falcons schedule
Home: Carolina, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Green Bay, Minnesota, Buffalo, Miami, NFC East team
Away: Carolina, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Chicago, Detroit, New England, New York Jets, NFC West team
2018 Falcons schedule
Home: Carolina, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Dallas, New York Giants, Baltimore, Cincinnati, NFC West team
Away: Carolina, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Washington, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, NFC North team
What's your first reaction to the new schedule?