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Athlon Sports Atlanta Falcons 2013 Schedule Analysis


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It's going to be a tough one.

Atlanta Falcons 2013 Schedule Analysis

By Mark Ross

After finally getting over the playoff hump last season, the Atlanta Falcons have their sights set squarely on Super Bowl XLVIII. The path to the NFC crown will be anything but easy, but the pieces are in place for this Falcons team to play in New York on Feb. 2. Here's our look at the Falcons' 2013 NFL schedule.

Atlanta Falcons 2013 Schedule:

Week 1: at New Orleans

Week 2: St. Louis

Week 3: at Miami

Week 4: New England

Week 5: New York Jets (Mon.)

Week 6: BYE

Week 7: Tampa Bay

Week 8: at Arizona

Week 9: at Carolina

Week 10: Seattle

Week 11: at Tampa Bay

Week 12: New Orleans (Thurs.)

Week 13: vs. Buffalo (Toronto)

Week 14: at Green Bay

Week 15: Washington

Week 16: at San Francisco (Mon.)

Week 17: Carolina

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Out of the Gate: The defending NFC South champions didn't get any breaks from the schedule-makers as the Falcons open the season on the road against division rival New Orleans. Opening at home against St. Louis the following Sunday probably won't be a cakewalk and then it's a trip down south to Miami and a home date with New England to close out the first month. The Falcons will need to bring their "A" game from the start or could put themselves in an early hole before the calendar turns to October.

Toughest Stretch: There are few, if any, breathers on this schedule, but November in particular could be a make-or-break month for Atlanta. The Falcons enter the second half of their schedule with a road game against division rival Carolina as the precursor to a rematch of last season's NFC Divisional Playoffs against Seattle. After that it's back-to-back divisional games - first a trip to Tampa Bay followed by a Thursday night date with New Orleans in the Georgia Dome. Atlanta-Falcons.pngSwing Games: at GB (Week 14), WAS (Week 15) Crossover Divisions: AFC East, NFC West Bye Week: Week 6 Opp. 2012 W/L %: .504 (15th) Athlon's SOS Rank: 1st

Easiest Stretch: Coming out of their Week 6 bye, the Falcons get Tampa Bay at home followed by back-to-back road games at Arizona and Carolina. A three-game stretch featuring two divisional games and two road games may not seem "easy," but that's the kind of schedule Atlanta drew this season. The Buccaneers, Cardinals and Panthers all finished below .500 in 2012, although to be fair, the two NFC South teams were close at 7-9.

Circle The Calendar: Take your pick. The Week 4 matchup with New England should be entertaining and then there's a December trip to Lambeau Field to play Green Bay in Week 14. Crossover play with the NFC West also means the Falcons get another shot against Seattle at home and a chance to exact some revenge against San Francisco on the road on "Monday Night Football" in Week 16.

Divisional Notes: Atlanta opens the season on the road in New Orleans and then doesn't play another NFC South opponent until after its Week 6 bye. Later in the season, the Falcons go to Tampa Bay in Week 11 and then it's a quick turnaround for a Thursday night showdown at home against the Saints the following week. What makes this double-dip even more daunting is that the Buccaneers' game is preceded by Atlanta's rematch with Seattle in the Georgia Dome. Along those same lines, the Falcons will finish the regular season with Carolina at home, but that game comes on the heels of playing the 49ers in San Francisco on Monday night to close out the Week 16 slate.

Playoff Push: The Falcons will spend the first two weekends in December up north with their first two games of the final month set for Toronto, where they will play Buffalo, and the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field to face off with Green Bay. Then it's home to play Washington, who may or may not have Robert Griffin III running the offense by then, before heading cross-country for a Week 16 Monday night showdown and NFC Championship game rematch with San Francisco. If the Falcons' playoff hopes and/or seeding are still undecided come Week 17, Carolina would like nothing more than to spoil either or both by taking down its divisional rival on its own home turf.

Fantasy Playoff Run (Weeks 14-16): Matt Ryan and his receivers should get plenty of work in against Green Bay and Washington. The road game against the Packers will probably feature plenty of offense, while the Redskins finished 30th in the league in both passing defense and fantasy points allowed to WRs. The dynamic could change greatly on the road against the 49ers (No. 3 in ypg, No. 2 in ppg) in Week 16.

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Heard the same stuff last year- Ryan was playing outdoors to start the season, Peyton was coming to town, had to play the Eagles after a bye- it was a rough schedule.

It may be, but there's no way to tell right now. Or to tell what the most difficult games are. Gronk may be on PUP and the NE game is much less formidable. Palmer may make the ARI offense click and they'll be an incredibly difficult team to play.

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Need to be at least 3-2 at the bye, I think we will beat SL and NE at home...opening at the toilet dome gonna be a tough one for us, and despite the Miami hype we are still the better football team.

We better beat them Ain'ts on opening day. We have a whole offseason to prepare. At this point, unless Drew Brees does the read option, there isn't much that team can throw at us that we haven't seen. They have an aggressive new D, but they have no talent to execute it.

I hope we beat them so bad they actually need the vicodin for legitimate reasons.

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We better beat them Ain'ts on opening day. We have a whole offseason to prepare. At this point, unless Drew Brees does the read option, there isn't much that team can throw at us that we haven't seen. They have an aggressive new D, but they have no talent to execute it.

I hope we beat them so bad they actually need the vicodin for legitimate reasons.

I think we got the better team, but our record there is not exactly stellar ....it's just a tough opening day venue for ANY team, that voodoo mojo bs is always in play, LOL ....

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Heard the same stuff last year- Ryan was playing outdoors to start the season, Peyton was coming to town, had to play the Eagles after a bye- it was a rough schedule.

It may be, but there's no way to tell right now. Or to tell what the most difficult games are. Gronk may be on PUP and the NE game is much less formidable. Palmer may make the ARI offense click and they'll be an incredibly difficult team to play.

I know there were some people that thought that the KC game was going to be tough. I never understood that. I thought it was going to be an absolute cake walk.

This year's game at New Orleans. Not so much.

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I know there were some people that thought that the KC game was going to be tough. I never understood that. I thought it was going to be an absolute cake walk.

This year's game at New Orleans. Not so much.

Still, the point holds-People were saying the exact same thing last year- that it looked like a difficult schedule going into the season.

Really hope the Saints D hasn't gotten it together by the first game.

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We better beat them Ain'ts on opening day. We have a whole offseason to prepare. At this point, unless Drew Brees does the read option, there isn't much that team can throw at us that we haven't seen. They have an aggressive new D, but they have no talent to execute it.

I hope we beat them so bad they actually need the vicodin for legitimate reasons.

How is the economy in the Nawlins region?

If it is tanking, then look for a call to Goddell from the DC area.

The NFL is a good citizen and a privately held National Asset.

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One thing I just noticed about our schedule is that when we play the "running" QB's it's in groups and not spread out (it's Carolina with Seattle right after that...and then Washington, San Fran, and Carolina back to back to back)

This could be a goo/bad thing

Good: we can better prepare for these types of QB's without having to prep for traditional ones in between.

Bad: we could drop those clumps of the schedule with multiple losses in a row if we aren't able to contain them.

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Heard the same stuff last year- Ryan was playing outdoors to start the season, Peyton was coming to town, had to play the Eagles after a bye- it was a rough schedule.

To me this schedule looks MUCH tougher than last year. Not even close. Last year I thought it was entirely within the realm of possibility that we opened 6-0. I even posted a thread about it.

But this year, no matter how I spin it I've got us running about .500 somewhere around week 10-12. We're gonna have to close hard to make the playoffs this year. But if we get in, I think we can do some serious damage.

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Ouch, hope the team eats their Weaties in the last part of the season because it's looking like a gladiatorial death match

I don't think teams are looking at their schedule and saying I'm glad we're playing Atlanta. We are better than most if not all the teams on our schedule. That schedule does not scare me. It will prepare us for the Feb 2 game in NY. Playing GB late in the season will help too.

Edited by Rickey
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To me this schedule looks MUCH tougher than last year. Not even close. Last year I thought it was entirely within the realm of possibility that we opened 6-0. I even posted a thread about it.

But this year, no matter how I spin it I've got us running about .500 somewhere around week 10-12. We're gonna have to close hard to make the playoffs this year. But if we get in, I think we can do some serious damage.

I think you're failing to include Ryan's yearly improvement, Jones hitting his 3rd year and SJax contributions into the equation. Be really disappointed with 500 at week 12 out of this team.

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I don't teams are looking at their schedule and saying I'm glad we're playing Atlanta. We are better than most if not all the teams on our schedule. That schedule does not scare me. It will prepare us for the Feb 2 game in NY. Playing GB late in the season will help too.

Wow, looking at your avi, Lucy from Peanuts has really grown up. She doesn't haven't to pull the ball away from Charlie Brown anymore, he's just too distracted. Good Grief.

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It is funny that before the season,we have a difficult one.Last year it was peyton,cam twice,brees,vick,eli and romo.plus the musclehamster was the wrinkle that freeman needed.This season is no different,if we dominate early,it will be brees and brady are on the downslope,or gronk was out,cam lost his QB guru.ALL EXCUSES WHY THEY WILL LOSE TO US.nothing on this schedule scares me.not brady,def not brees.rogers can't carry that horrible dom capers defense.And I like DOM.sean peyton being back won't matter,he has a new look at defense with ryan in charge.Matt will pick aprt defences this year,especially with more time with our coordinators.haters aare gonna hate.The Falcons will be under the radar again.I am especially happy with the udfa we have.camp will be great,plus we should have a really good practice squad,some nice potential talent back up stashed there.I KNOW teams are looking at their schedule right now and wondering how they will slow down our offense.No homer,we will go 12-4 or repeat 13-3.I also predict one of those read option QBs gets hurt seriously a la RGIII,and that will be the end of that experiment.only washington has a good enough back up in cousins,neither SF or Seattle have that luxury.great fun this year!And the people who get paid to predict things can go to ****.

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