Reviewing and Predicting the Falcons' 2022 Schedule

For anyone who has followed this league long enough, they know that predicting a team's schedule game by game is HARD. Any team can win "any given Sunday." As Boomer says, "that is why they play the games." Even the so called "experts" in the media and on TV often times try predicting a team's record and miss badly. In 2016, NFL Network predicted that the Falcons would win 5 games and 12 in 2017. Nonetheless, predictions have always been something I've enjoyed doing so that's what I will do for the 2022 Atlanta Falcons.

Week 1: vs. NO. We start off with the hated rival Saints at home. On paper, the Saints are miles ahead of the Falcons in regards to the roster. However, this is a divisional game against one of the most heated rivalries in the NFL and one again, "any given Sunday." As a result, I have the Falcons pulling off the upset in a close game that will come down to the wire. 1-0.

Week 2: at LAR. After upsetting our rivals to open the season, the Falcons will travel to LA and get a hard slap of reality against the defending Champs who arguably got better adding Bobby Wagner, Allen Robinson, and getting Cam Akers back. Rams take this one easily. 1-1

Week 3: at SEA. We have two rebuilding teams with unideal cap situations who both moved on from franchise cornerstones in recent years. Both teams have formidable skill players but are close to the bottom of the league in the trenches. I have the Falcons pulling off an ugly win in Seattle. One similar to the win against the Giants last year. 2-1

Week 4: vs CLE. Regardless of the QB situation for the Browns, they are built similarly to the Saints and are miles ahead of Atlanta in every aspect. "Any given Sunday" will not apply here. 2-2

Week 5: at TB. Brady is 10-0 against the Falcons. Expect that be 11-0 once this game ends as the Falcons take a sound beating in Tampa. 2-3

Week 6. vs SF. The Niners absolutely bullied the Falcons up front on both sides of the ball, despite AJ keeping Deebo and Ayiuk in check and the offense keeping it close in the first half. Given that the Falcons made little to no improvements up front, expect the same results here. 2-4

Week 7. at Cincy. We head to Cincy to take on the defending AFC Champion upstart Bengals who got better this offseason and are poised to be a contender once again led by one of the best young QBs in football, Joe Mixon, a top 5 receiving core, and an underrated defense. The Falcons will lose a surprisingly close game in OT and drop to 2-5.

Week 8. vs. CAR. Since 2000, the Falcons have consistently gotten the better of the Panthers. Despite losing to the Panthers in Atlanta the past couple of years, expect that streak to end here as the Falcons improve their record to 3-5 with a win at home on TNF

Week 9. vs LAC. An AFC favorite with arguably the best under 25 QB in the game who's an MVP favorite with great skill players, a much improved o-line, and a a defense that added JC Jackson and Khalil Mack to compliment guys like ASJ, James, and Bosa. Expect this game to pan out similarly to the Niners game where the Falcons get pushed around up front, while the talent of the Chargers at skill positions is simply too much for the Falcons to handle. 3-6

Week 10. at CAR. The Falcons continue their recent 2+ decade dominance of the Panthers and get the season sweep. 4-6. This is also the game in which Desmond Ridder officially takes the reigns as starting QB for the remainder of the season.

Week 11. vs CHI. Similar to the Seattle game, the Falcons will win this matchup of two rebuilding squads. 5-6

Week 12. at WASH. The Commanders are a team that are honestly hard to predict. They beat us last year and no matter which way you put it, Wentz is an upgrade at QB over what they had last year, AJ will keep McLaurin in check, but their d-line will be too much for our o line to handle. 5-7.

Week 13. vs PITT. The Steelers' secondary downgraded during the offseason and have a question mark at the QB and ILB positions. However, like many games on this schedule, the Falcons will lose this game in the trenches as Najae Harris will run all over this defense and the o-line will have no answers for a d-line led by Cam Hayward and a guy TD took Talk Mckinnley over and had more sacks by himself than our entire defense did last year. Also, the game will be 90 percent Steeler fans. 5-8

Week 14. BYE

Week 15. at NO. Despite pulling off the upset at home against the Saints in Week 1, the Saints' talent on their roster takes over this game at the Superdome and they cruise to an easy win. 5-9.

Week 16. at BAL. The Ravens were one of the league's most injured teams last year, lost many key starters, and still almost found a way to make the playoffs. If they are healthy, they are without a doubt a contender once again in a loaded AFC and their talent and depth, led by John Harbaugh's excellent coaching, along with the home field advantage the Ravens have will be simply too much for a young and talent-lacking Falcons team to handle. 5-10.

Week 17. vs ARI. The Cardinals are a team I have taking a step back this year. However, I still expect the Falcons to lose this game at home. That RB room is loaded, and despite losing Kirk to Jacksonville and DHop for a third of the year, their WR room is still formidable with guys like Isabella, Moore, and Hollywood Brown. Their defense is also a strong unit. The secondary in particular. 5-11

Week 18. vs TB. Will the Falcons finally get a win against Brady? How will Julio Jones be received by the fanbase in his return to Atlanta (if he's playing)? Any less, the Falcons will put a resilient fight against a division rival to close out their fifth consecutive losing season but will JUST come up short. 5-12.

So there you have it. I have the Falcons finishing 5-12 in Year 2 of the Smith/Fontenot Era and the first in the Post-Ryan era, clinching their fifth consecutive losing season (the longest since 1983-1990 at eight consecutive). Will the early draft pick be early enough to draft a player like Will Anderson, the kind of player which the Falcons have desperately needed on defense for years? Unless we trade up, probably not. However, the team's record will not tell the full story. I am expecting our young players (Grant, Hawk, AK47, Drake, Ridder, and Allgier to make positive contributions and make more of an impact on the team as the year goes on. I am expecting Pitts to have more than 1 TD despite the drop in yardage. I hope that Bryan Edwards can possibly live up to the potential he displayed at times in Vegas and CP once again makes a big contribution offensively. My record prediction is strictly due to the team's roster and our opponents. If we had last year's schedule this year, then I'd probably predict a 10 win season and a playoff birth.

Tell me your thoughts in the comments on your predictions/expectations for the 2022 Atlanta Falcons.

<em>This FanPost was written by one of The Falcoholic's talented readers. It does not necessarily reflect the views of The Falcoholic.</em>