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Atlanta Falcons schedule 2015: nationally televised, primetime games highlight first half

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Fact: Matt Ryan's childhood shoe tying trauma haunts him to this day

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Week 1 of the NFL season will kick off with great fanfare - balloons, poorly made replica jerseys, and stale beer. Every team will start the season unbeaten and unbridled excitement won't be in short supply. Heck, even Oakland Raiders fans will think they're Super Bowl bound. But half of all NFL fans will end the first weekend disappointed, wondering why they spent the entire offseason obsessing over OTAs, the draft, and training camp.

No matter what happens in the first weekend, the Falcons will have the honor of kicking off Monday Night Football. It's going to make concentrating at the office awfully hard, that's for sure.

Week 1 - At home vs. Philadelphia Eagles, Monday Night Football

The Falcons will get a test early against a potentially sneaky good Eagles team. You simply can't sleep on that offense, no matter who is taking the snaps under center. The Falcons were in this position back in 2005, opening up at home against the Eagles on Monday Night Football. They won that game, and with any luck, they'll win this one too.

Week 6 - Away vs. the New Orleans Saints, Thursday Night Football

I hate when the Falcons play in New Orleans, particularly when it's a nationally televised game. Expect a healthy amount of Saints favoritism while officials and commentators seemingly try to will the Falcons to a loss. At least Jimmy Graham won't be around to pretend like he made up the goal post slam dunk.

The Falcons aren't exactly America's team, so it's no surprise they only have two primetime games. But were they shorted? Did they deserve a third primetime game? I'm inclined to say they didn't. Homer tendencies aside, they haven't played good football since 2012. While the addition of Dan Quinn is newsworthy, it won't attract a national audience.

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