The Atlanta Falcons should do everything in their power to succeed in 2018. Spare no expense and pull no punches, if you will. It’s an important year, if only because their talented roster may not be quite as talented once the salary cap catches up with Thomas Dimitroff in 2019 and beyond. The Falcons are in a sweet spot right now; it’s time to knock it out of the park.
Because of the parity in the NFL year to year, strength of schedule can be a flimsy concept. Back in April, FiveThirtyEight writer Ty Schalter pored over some Pro Football Reference data, crunched some numbers, and decided the Falcons have the NFL’s 16th toughest schedule this season. Fast forward 3+ months and meaningful NFL games are just about a month away. The question now is how, if at all, things have changed post-draft, post-mini camps, and 1-2 weeks into training camps.
The six divisional games will still be a challenge, but what else is new? The New Orleans Saints have a talented secondary and the second-best running back duo in football. The Carolina Panthers added D.J. Moore in the draft, and notwithstanding his career 58.5 percent completion percentage, Cam Newton still finds ways to win football games. The Tampa Bay Bucs ... never mind.
As for the rest of the schedule, the games against the Philadelphia Eagles (week 1), Pittsburgh Steelers (week 5), Dallas Cowboys (week 11), and Green Bay Packers (week 14, at Lambeau, in December) give me pause. The rest of the schedule still looks manageable, so in short, Schalter’s assessment still appears to be spot-on.
But what do you, the Falcohol-sipping masses, think? Discuss!