Here is a quick breakdown and prediction for each game that the Falcons will be playing in the 2013 regular season.
Falcons Regular Season Schedule (All times Eastern)
Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 8, at New Orleans, 1 p.m.
I think the Saints will come out with a lot of fire having Sean Payton back at he helm.
This is a big rivalry in the NFL South and usually it is split every year. I take the Saints with the emotion factor and being at home.
Score: Saints 21, Falcons 17
Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 15, St. Louis, 1 p.m.
The Falcons will bounce back and play a team in the Rams that are improving heavily each year, but it won't be enough. Steven Jackson runs circles around his old team and the Falcons take their first victory of the season.
Score: Falcons 28, Rams 14
Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 22, at Miami, 4:05 p.m.
This will more than likely be a huge TV draw for the week as Miami has added a lot of firepower. The Dolphins have good offensive weapons, but I think the passing attack of the Falcons will hurt Miami's secondary rather than the alternative.
Score: Falcons 24, Dolphins 21
Week 4: Sunday, Sept. 29, New England, 8:30 p.m.
This rivalry has become pretty good to watch over the years, as Matt Ryan has really elevated his quarterback play for the Falcons. Bill Belichick will have a solid plan in place to stop the run and force the Falcons had in the passing game. Close game, but Falcons lose late.
Score: Patriots 35, Falcons 28
Week 5: Monday, Oct. 7, N.Y. Jets, 8:30 p.m.
Falcons play the Jets. Falcons beat the Jets. Really don't need to say much more rather than this may be the first appearance of Geno Smith so it may be worth the watch.
Score: Falcons 24, Jets 7
Week 6: BYE
Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 20, Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.
This division matchup has become very competitive of late. With the addition of Greg Schiano and Josh Freeman, along with a great supporting cast, the Bucs have become relevant again. Freeman is not at the level of Ryan and therefore I have to go with the Falcons taking this big division matchup.
Score: Falcons 17, Bucs 14
Week 8: Sunday, Oct. 27, at Arizona, 4:25 p.m.
I love what Bruce Arians has done with the signing of veteran Carson Palmer and if anyone can resurrect his career it is him. With the addition of some good offensive linemen, I think this is a team to look out for. The Falcons make a trip out west and win a tight one with a much improved team.
Score: Falcons 24, Cardinals 21
Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 3, at Carolina, 1 p.m.
One of the best regional rivalries at its prime, the Falcons have dominated the Panthers of late.
With the addition of some great defensive linemen in the draft, the Panthers will have a better chance to stop the run game.
However, they don't have the players to keep up with the Falcons' passing attack.
Score: Falcons 27, Panthers 14
Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 10, Seattle, 1 p.m.
Everybody is on the Seattle bandwagon it seems and for good reason. The Seahawks have drafted well and done good in free agency.
I don't think the team dominates the Falcons whatsoever, but the game will be close and in the end, Russell Wilson will find a way to prevail.
Score: Seahawks 21, Falcons 20
Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 17, at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.
Even though they split games last year in the region, the Falcons got better in the off season than the Bucs did, in my opinion. Revis or not, the offense of the Bucs will struggle with the Falcons' defense, who should be hitting their stride and have two good rookie defensive backs playing a lot.
Score: Falcons 17, Bucs 7
Week 12: Thursday, Nov. 21, New Orleans, 8:25 p.m.
The Saints took game one, but they wont get game two. Head coach Mike Smith is one great motivator and will have the Falcons up to play this game that will most likely decide the division. Falcons win, but close.
Score: Falcons 32, Saints 28
Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 1, at Buffalo, 4:05 p.m.
E.J. Manual will be at the helm and I like the chances the Falcons will have against the Bills. The Bills are still a year away at least and Jackson, Ryan, Jones, and White will have a field day on this defense.
Score: Falcons 28, Bills 3
Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 8, at Green Bay, 8:30 p.m.
Huge game as two of the best young franchise quarterbacks will battle late in the season with obvious playoff implications. I think the Packers addressed a lot of needs and made their roster better. Rodgers gets the edge, but expect a rematch int he playoffs.
Score: Packers 28, Falcons 24
Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 15, Washington, 1 p.m.
Another team that has added some major firepower is the Redskins. If RGIII is not hurt the Redskins have a chance. If he is out, the Falcons roll. I think either way the Falcons will prevail as they play better down the stretch and are going to be bouncing back off a loss.
Score: Falcons 20, Redskins 17
Week 16: Monday, Dec. 23, at San Francisco, 8:30 p.m.
If all plays out, this is going to be one of the most watched regular season games of all time... mark it down. Two Super Bowl contenders on path late in the season... what a story line. Rematch of the NFC Championship game and the Falcons find a way to beat the secondary of the Falcons this time.
Score: Falcons 21, 49ers 20
Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 29, Carolina, 1 p.m.
The Falcons close out the season with a win to lock up division and most likely home field advantage for the first two rounds at least. Carolina will be a better team but at this point in the season they will be playing for pride and the Falcons will be playing for a Bye week. I like the Dirty Birds chances there.
Score: Falcons 28, Panthers 17
Overall Record: 12 wins, 4 losses ( 5- 1 in the NFC South)