Training camp is on the horizon for the Atlanta Falcons. While waiting, Last Word on Pro Football is analyzing the schedules of all 32 NFL teams. It will be split into two categories: the most difficult games (1-9) and the easiest (10-17). Let’s dive into the most difficult games on the Atlanta Falcons schedule.
Most Difficult Games on 2022 Atlanta Falcons Schedule
1) Week 2: @ Los Angeles Rams
There will be a season where the Falcons don’t have to play the defending champions in the first two weeks. However, 2022 is not going to be that season. After an early test against the Buffalo Bills, the Los Angeles Rams get to either take out their frustrations or create momentum against the lesser roster of the Atlanta Falcons. A laborious early test for the new regime as the Rams look to run it back for another championship. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough to make it one of the most difficult games for the Atlanta Falcons, it’s also on the west coast. That should be a fun flight back home.
2) Week 5: @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The timing of this game is horrible. Tampa Bay has two crucial games against the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs. Essentially, forcing them to gel together quickly. This will not be hard given their roster continuity over the past two years. Especially that one itch that the Falcons can’t scratch at quarterback. Either way, Atlanta will have to weather a championship contender early in their schedule. Last year, that task did not end well for the boys in red and black.
3) Week 9: vs. Los Angeles Chargers
At least the Falcons don’t have to leave for this one. The Los Angeles Chargers come in after a bye week. That’s not enough? That’s fine. They had one of their best off-seasons as they added Khalil Mack to their roster to play opposite Joey Bosa. Still not enough? There are also the additions of Kyle Van Noy and, more importantly, J.C. Jackson solidifying their defense. Let’s hope that this defense can get some more pressure on Justin Herbert and stop Austin Ekeler on the ground. However, there is an upside to this game. Former Atlanta Falcon Pro-Bowler Josh Harris is back in town! Josh Harris, the long-snapper. It’s fine. We’ll move on.
Should we REALLY make our schedule release video an anime?
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— Los Angeles Chargers (@chargers) May 13, 2022
4) Week 7: @ Cincinnati Bengals
What’s better than one Super Bowl team on the schedule? How about both of them? The Falcons get to take a trip to Cincinnati to play the Cincinnati Bengals. This game wouldn’t be rated so high if the Bengals had the same offensive line that got Joe Burrow sacked 51 times. But with additions like La’el Collins added to the offensive line, the Bengals offense will take another step forward. Crazy concept to think of when they already had the seventh-best offense in the league. Pair that with a defense that still sports Trey Hendrickson and D.J. Reader on the line. That may spell disaster for the Falcons.
5) Week 18: vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Great, these guys again. This game’s difficulty rating relies on whether they are fighting for seeding in the playoffs. If Tampa has a chance to sit a 45-year-old quarterback, there is no doubt that they will take that chance. However, if he is playing and something like a first-round bye is still on the table, they will come in focused and ready. It would be fun to play spoiler, but it will be a rough game.
6) Week 6: vs. San Francisco 49ers
Whether they have Deebo Samuel or not. Whether they have Jimmy Garoppolo or not. The San Francisco 49ers game will be tough to win because of one man: Kyle Shanahan. Atlanta fans may deem that name sacrilegious. But his success speaks for itself (at least in the regular season). And since this is a regular-season game, one in which there will be wrinkles and even more weird concepts from the mind of Shanahan, it will end up being difficult. But it also may be a chance to catch the 49ers looking ahead towards Kansas City the next week, but the Falcons have to be ready to seize an opportunity like that.
7) Week 16 @ Baltimore Ravens
Simply put, the Falcons have not seen a team like the Baltimore Ravens. Especially on the offensive side of the football. At this point, if Lamar stays healthy, the Ravens will more than likely be surging and looking to solidify a playoff spot. While limited at the wide receiver position, they have good offensive line play, a great running attack, and an aggressive, attacking defense. The latter got better in the draft with acquisitions such as Travis Jones and Kyle Hamilton. Bring back playmakers like Marcus Peters, Odafe Oweh, and Marlon Humphrey, and watch out.
8) Week 15: @ New Orleans Saints
Alright, let’s make this quick. Both the New Orleans Saints and the Falcons are coming off of a bye. The teams will probably duel to the death for bragging rights, but the Saints will have more to play for by then. With the NFC being as top-heavy as it is, the Saints have a chance to get into the playoffs and cause some unwanted chaos. So, they will come in with their ears perked to beat their hated rival.
9) Week 4: vs. Cleveland Browns
This game may not be as arduous as first thought. Sure, there is the threat of Myles Garrett on every play. If Deshaun Watson is able to play, then there is a chance that this offense can be dynamic with pieces like Amari Cooper, David Njoku, and Donovan Peoples-Jones. Not to mention Denzel Ward and Greg Newsome in the defensive secondary to lock things down. But, there is the caveat of if Deshaun Watson will play. This game will be an uphill battle, but the Atlanta Falcons have a much better chance if a scorned Baker Mayfield or Jacoby Brissett is at the reigns for the Cleveland Browns.
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