Not making the 2009 playoffs helps some when it comes to setting the Falcons’ 2010 schedule, however only landing the 19th pick in the 2010 draft does not seem like a fair consolation prize for having the 20th overall most difficult schedule.
20. Falcons 127-129 (Combined W-L) .496 (Pct.)
This year the Falcons get to take on 6 2009 Playoff teams; really 7 if you consider that ATL has to play New Orleans twice.
- Arizona (ATL Sep 19)
- Baltimore (ATL Thurs Night Nov 11)
- Cincinnati (ATL Oct 24)
- Green Bay (ATL Nov 28)
- New Orleans (away Sep 26)
- New Orleans (ATL Mon Night Dec 27)
- Philadelphia (away Oct 17)
Pat Yasinskas of the NFC South Blog at ESPN has the following to say about a make-up schedule after last year’s Bye-Week fiasco scheduling, which really made the Falcon’s schedule tougher than necessary.
Looks like the schedule-makers might have been trying to make things up to the Falcons after handing them such a brutal schedule last year and put them against four teams coming off byes. The bye week comes almost in the middle of the season, the final two games are at home and the Falcons got two prime-time games.
AJC’s D. Orlando Ledbetter provides a break-down of the 2010 Falcons’ schedule.
On the road again: They will have to prove their mettle on the road or risk getting off to a bad start. They will play four of their first six games on the road. Later they play three consecutive games on the road, Dec. 5-19. Under coach Mike Smith, the Falcons are 7-10 on the road, including the wild-card loss at Arizona in the 2008 playoffs.
Wrapping things up, are some comments from the “official” Falcons site.
Favorable Bye Week Schedule
The suspension of Ben Roethlisberger just made the start of the season that much better – from the point of view of Atlanta getting off to a good start. Atlanta should be able to win on the road vs. Pittsburgh, and the following week is a home date with Arizona, which is also winnable. New Orleans on the road will be tough, following by up and coming San Fran at home; you know the 49’ers will be out for revenge after last year’s utter ungluing at home. A road date to Cleveland is very winnable, followed by a tough road game at Philadelphia and a home date with Cincinnati before heading into a favorable bye week (in week eight).
Unlike last year, the Falcons are not going to get hosed playing teams coming off a bye week; compared to last year’s 4 tough bye week games, Atlanta only has one against Cincinnati. At least this game is a home date for the Falcons.
The Falcons have a very real chance of going 5-2 before the bye, but it could go south in a hurry if Pittsburgh and Cincinnati are playing well. A 3-4 start would totally suck and make the second half Thursday night and Monday night match-ups basically worthless games.
The second half is going to be difficult; more analysis to come at a future date.