Ranking of Atlanta’s 5 best games

The Atlanta Falcons front office made some tough but necessary moves during the offseason, and fans are excited to see what the next chapter has in store.

With new starters at quarterback, wide receiver, tight end, linebacker and cornerback, there’s a real sense of unpredictability surrounding this year’s team. Regardless of the final record, it’s sure to be an interesting season in Atlanta.

The NFL released its 2022 schedule last week, and we’ve ranked the Falcons’ top five games.

(AP Photo/Danny Karnik)

The Falcons’ off-season overhaul could pay dividends across the board, but there will likely be an adjustment period. Last season ended in a home loss to the Saints, but Atlanta can right that mistake by beating New Orleans in this season’s opener.

With both Sean Payton and Drew Brees gone, it’s officially the start of a new era for the NFC South’s premier rivalry.

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Week 2 offers the chance to beat the reigning Super Bowl Champion Rams in the stadium where they defeated the Bengals 23-20 in February. Arthur Smith faces Sean McVay, someone who has praised his offensive innovation in the past.

Slowing down Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, Aaron Donald and Allen Robinson will be a tough challenge for the new-look Falcons. Can AJ Terrell, Grady Jarrett and Kyle Pitts make things interesting?

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Atlanta had the chance to pick Justin Fields in last year’s draft but chose Kyle Pitts instead. Given the perceived lack of prime QB talent in the 2022 draft and Matt Ryan out of the picture, did the team make a mistake in passing Ohio State standout in 2021?

The Falcons will get their first look at Fields in Week 11 when the Bears come to Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Also, the Falcons added about a half-dozen former Bears during the offseason, which should make things interesting.

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Similar to Justin Fields in 2021, the Falcons had a chance to draft Steelers rookie QB Kenny Pickett back in April. The Pittsburgh standout was the first and only quarterback in the first round of the 2022 NFL draft.

The Steelers, like the Falcons, are transitioning from a future Hall of Famer QB and maybe Pickett is the answer. Atlanta could land Desmond Ridder in the third round, and the rookie could potentially start at this point in the season.

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Whether or not the Falcons battle Brady and the Bucs for a playoff spot during that Week 18 game, Atlanta can prove things are headed in the right direction with a win over NFC South favorites in the season finale.

Tampa Bay was one Matthew Stafford throw away from an unlikely comeback in the playoffs against the Rams. Brady retired, then changed his mind a few weeks later and Todd Bowles took over as his head coach. The Falcons get another chance to beat Brady, who is career unbeaten against Atlanta.

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