Falcons 2021 Schedule: Which games to keep an eye on, specifically the time of the year

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The NFL will officially release the times and dates of the 2021 season on Wednesday, May 12th. On Thursday, September 9th, Kickoff Weekend will begin with the Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers as is customary. The NFL formulates league schedules following the criteria below:

  • Six games against divisional opponents — two games per team, one at home and one on the road.
  • Four games against teams from a division within its conference — two games at home and two on the road.
  • Four games against teams from a division in the other conference — two games at home and two on the road.
  • Two games against teams from the two remaining divisions in its own conference — one game at home and one on the road. Matchups are based on division ranking from the previous season.

On paper, the Falcons have an easy set of opponents after finishing fourth in the NFC South a year ago. The last-place schedule — based on opponents winning percentages — is favorable for Atlanta. Still, if you take a closer look, there are possibilities for a couple of rough stretches depending on how the schedule is laid out.

First and foremost, the Falcons will play seven games in Mercedez-Benz Stadium and ten away games. The additional 17th game results in Atlanta traveling to Jacksonville, as every AFC team will host an NFC opponent. The London game will essentially be an away game for both teams but counts as a home game for the Falcons. With only seven home games, the Falcons could use some scheduling help to ease some of the away opponents.

There are two away games that Falcons fans should pay attention to, the Bills and the Giants. Depending on the time of the year, these could be difficult away matchups for an indoor team. New York can get rough later in the year, and the weather can certainly be advantageous for northern teams.

Weather is something that gets worse as the season goes on, but the best NFL teams usually peak in the latter half of the year. Teams like the Eagles, Lions, Patriots, Jets, and Jaguars have had significant roster turnover on the offensive side of the ball — whether that means a new quarterback, new coach, or new weapons. If the Falcons draw any of these teams earlier in the year, Atlanta’s defense will face a much less experienced offensive unit — favorable for the good guys.

Another significant timing factor for the Falcons schedule is the league-wide bye week. Depending on when the bye week is can be seen as a useless off-week or come at the perfect time. Challenging games against division rivals, the Bills, 49ers, and Dolphins would be more winnable if they followed a bye week. But if the bye falls before a game against the Lions, Jets, or Jaguars, it could be seen as a waste.

Later this week, I will give an official schedule review with an extensive look at specific matchups and if the scale leans towards the Falcons or not. Below is the complete list of home and away opponents.

Home
Away

 

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  1. Pingback: Falcons 2021 Schedule: Which games to keep an eye on, specifically the time of the year - TheAtlantaStar

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