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Atlanta Falcons Toughest Games in 2018

The Atlanta Falcons are a Super Bowl contender this year but have a pretty difficult road to get there. Here are their eight toughest games in 2018.
Atlanta Falcons Toughest Games

The Atlanta Falcons are a Super Bowl contender this year but have a pretty tough road to get there. Not only do they play in the best conference in the NFL but they also play in the best division in the NFL. Many of their opponents this year were playoff teams so Atlanta will have to prove themselves.

Atlanta Falcons Toughest Games in 2018

1. Week 1 – at Philadelphia Eagles

To be viewed as the best, you have to beat the best and Atlanta has the opportunity to do that week 1. As a rematch of last year’s divisional round game, Atlanta will travel to Philadelphia to play the reigning world champions. The game ended in heartbreaking fashion as Atlanta had four plays from inside the 10 to score and they couldn’t do it. As heartbreaking as it was, it’s a new year and both teams are pretty much even with the Eagles getting a slight edge. The optimist/fan in me wants to say Steve Sarkisian and the Falcons offense will come out and play to their potential but in reality when Atlanta will start dominating offensively if ever, will be later in the year. I think the game ends just as close as last year but the result will depend on the quarterback of the Eagles. All signs point to Carson Wentz being able to start week 1 but if he isn’t Nick Foles will get the start.

Prediction: 20-14 (Winner is Atlanta if Foles is playing, Philadelphia if Wentz is playing)

2 & 3. Week 3/11 – vs/at New Orleans Saints

The Falcons have a historic rivalry with the ‘Aints and they’re always high energy and most are highly-contested games. Both have also won the division the last two years and are meant to win the division this year. The series was split last year with both games being marred by poor officiating. These games, especially the one in New Orleans, will be two of the toughest ones this season.

The Saints come into the year returning almost all of their players including all four of their major offensive weapons (Mark Ingram is suspended for the first game). They also improved their young defensive core with the notable addition being Marcus Davenport. This has led to them being most people’s NFC South pick and one of the favorites for the NFC championship and Super Bowl. This makes them a tough opponent but there are a few things Atlanta can be optimistic about.

New Orleans is notoriously a tough place to play, especially for Matt Ryan and Atlanta, as the Falcons have only won three of the last 10 games in the Superdome. Even though I think Atlanta has more talent and is overall a better team, it’s doubtful the Falcons can win in New Orleans. At home, Atlanta is more poised to win with the Saints playing the Eagles 4 days before.

Prediction: Falcons 20-14 Saints & Saints 28-20 Falcons

4. Week 5 – at Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers, in my opinion, are the only team that can rival Atlanta’s offense this year. Fans will get a look at two high-powered offenses early in the season as Julio Jones and the Falcons travel to Heinz Field to face the Steelers. The Steelers still have some question marks on their team and one of the biggest ones is Le’Veon Bell.

He’ll play this year but like last year, many predict him to have a slow start. If he has a slow start like he did last year, I don’t think the Falcons lose this game but of course, it’s all up to chance. The Steelers have a slight advantage on the offensive side but a worse defense. The teams are pretty even but the result will eventually come down to home-field advantage, which the Steelers have.

Prediction: Steelers 27-24 Falcons

5. Week 13 – at Green Bay Packers

Matt Ryan and the Falcons have dominated the Packers the last three matchups but all of them have been in Atlanta. In controlled weather. That’s important as in week 13, the Falcons will travel to Lambeau Field. Earlier in the season, it might not be a huge deal but in December, it will be the harshest Ryan has played in since 2014 when he also visited Lambeau. According to, Lambeau is historically under freezing and snows more than a foot in December.

The Falcons haven’t won at Lambeau Field since Ryan’s rookie year when he threw for 200 yards and two touchdowns en route to a 27-24 win. The Packers don’t have a better team than the Falcons but in Lambeau, talent won’t be the deciding factor. I could be vastly overestimating the weather’s effect on the Falcons but the last two December games for the Falcons in Lambeau ended in losses. It will certainly be a highly contested game but I think the Packers sneak out a win.

Prediction: Packers 17-14 Falcons

6. Week 16 – at Carolina Panthers

The Panthers are always a hard opponent for the Falcons. Cam Newton used to pose a huge problem for the Falcons defense but Dan Quinn and Marquand Manuel have mostly figured him out the last two years. He and Luke Kuechly are the most dominant players on Carolina and if Atlanta wants to win away from home, they’ll have to contain those two.

Last year, Atlanta had as many chances as you could ask for to win the game in Charlotte but couldn’t do it. Whether it be awful drops by wide receivers or missed assignments, the Falcons just couldn’t get it done. The Falcons lost 20-17 so even with awful mistakes, Atlanta came close. I think this will be a pretty close game and although Atlanta shouldn’t lose this game, I think they will, especially with the game being in Charlotte.

Prediction: Panthers 24-20 Falcons 

7. Week 2 – vs Carolina Panthers

After a 10-day break, Atlanta will host the Panthers for their first division game and home game of the year.

In the final game of last year, Atlanta dominated Carolina en route to a 22-10 win. Both sides of the ball played well that game securing a playoff appearance for the second straight year. The defense held Carolina to under 250 yards while forcing three turnovers while the offense gained 371 yards and scored 22 points on Carolina’s top 10 defense. Fortunately, it didn’t come back to bite Atlanta but the offense was poor when it came to scoring touchdowns. Matt Bryant had five field goals and four out of five times, Atlanta was inside the 25-yard line. If Atlanta wants to win this game as well as others, they need to take advantage of those opportunities. This will be a very close game but at home and with more rest than Carolina, Atlanta takes it.

Prediction: Falcons 27-21 Panthers

8. Week 11 – vs Dallas Cowboys

After the Browns game, the Cowboys travel to the Benz for the second year in a row to face the Falcons.

Last year, the Cowboys were annihilated by the Falcons when they came to Atlanta 27-7. The Falcons defense was the star of the show holding the Cowboys to seven points and under 250 yards while forcing two turnovers. The Falcons offense was high-powered as well gaining almost 350 yards and scoring 27 points. The difference this year will most likely be Ezekiel Elliott. He was suspended for this game last year but barring an injury or another suspension, Elliot will be in Atlanta. Atlanta had a top 10 rushing defense last year and most likely will have one again. I think Elliott will make a huge difference but it might not be enough to beat Atlanta.

Prediction: Falcons 24-20 Cowboys

Be sure to check out the eight easiest games on the 2018 Atlanta Falcons schedule.

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