The NFL released the schedule for the 2022 season last week, and it does Atlanta no favors. The Falcons draw the NFC West, which is an incredibly competitive division. They also match up with both Super Bowl participants, among a few other championship-caliber teams. Below is the complete 2022 Falcons schedule and its most challenging stretches:
- Week 1, Sept. 11: vs. New Orleans
- Week 2, Sept. 18: at Los Angeles Rams
- Week 3, Sept. 25: at Seattle
- Week 4, Oct. 2: vs. Cleveland
- Week 5, Oct. 9: at Tampa Bay
- Week 6, Oct. 16: vs. San Francisco
- Week 7, Oct. 23: at Cincinnati
- Week 8, Oct. 30: vs. Carolina
- Week 9, Nov. 6: vs. Los Angeles Chargers
- Week 10, Nov. 10 at Carolina (TNF)
- Week 11, Nov. 20: vs. Chicago
- Week 12, Nov. 27: vs. Washington
- Week 13, Dec. 4: vs. Pittsburgh
- Week 14, Dec. 11: Bye
- Week 15, Dec. 17/18: at New Orleans
- Week 16, Dec. 24: at Baltimore
- Week 17, Jan. 1: vs. Arizona
- Week 18, Jan. 7/8: vs. Tampa Bay
For me, the first stretch of games that pops out is the end of the season. Despite the shaky quarterback situation, traveling to New Orleans is always tricky. Then the following week, going north to frigid Baltimore to play a Ravens team that will surely be battling for playoff seeding in Week 16. And finally, ending the season at home against the Cardinals and Bucs — both playoff-caliber teams — is brutal.
Another tough stretch comes towards the beginning of the season; Weeks 4 through 7 could prove to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. If Atlanta can’t beat Seattle, I don’t see their first win coming until Week 8 or 10 against the lowly Panthers. Cleveland is a toss-up because we don’t know who will be under center, but the Browns still boast one of the best rosters in football. Then, they’ll square off against Tom Brady and Bucs, the ultra-physical 49ers, and the defending AFC champs led by the best young quarterback in football, Joe Burrow.
It would be tough for any team to grind out nine wins with this schedule, and I wouldn’t be shocked if the Falcons are selecting in the top five of next year’s draft.
Photographer: Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire