At long last, the 2022 Falcons schedule has been released. You can see it in its entirety below, and then start planning your fall and early winter accordingly. There are a bunch of interesting opponents on the home slate worth checking out, plus a few nice road trips on the schedule that might tempt you to bring friends and/or family to see the Falcons in hostile territory.
The Falcons will face the entire NFC West and AFC North, in addition to the home-and-homes against division rivals with other opponents sprinkled in. Be sure to check out Tori McElhaney's schedule observations later on and check out some instant analysis right here, right now:
SAINTS OUT THE GATE, BUCS AT THE FINISH: Love the opportunity to play the Saints in Week 1. It's such a fun rivalry, and should produce some high drama in the regular season's first game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Openers are usually a chess match between coaches, full of un-scouted looks that can create both big plays and tense moments. This is the first time the Falcons will see New Orleans without Sean Payton at the helm, though the rivalry shouldn't diminish against Dennis Allen. That should be a fun one and the home crowd will be into it, for sure. Playing Tom Brady is always fun with a passionate home crowd rooting against him. That'll be an interesting way to close out the season for both teams.
NINE(!) REGULAR-SEASON HOME GAMES: NFL teams have an unbalanced home/away regular-season slate with 17 games now on the docket. The Falcons had eight home last year -- technically seven, with a one played in London -- and have nine in 2022. They'll alternate each year, and this is one where home fans get an extra regular season game. Mercedes-Benz Stadium has a solid slate of opponents, heightened by an extra home game for the first time ever.
FAIRLY BALANCED: The Falcons home and road opponents are spread out well in this schedule, without huge blocks of home or away games. They never play three straight at home or on the road, with the toughest travel stretch coming with three road games between Weeks 2-5 at L.A. Rams, at Seattle (then home against Cleveland) and at Tampa . That could be mitigated somewhat if the Falcons stay on the West Coast between the Rams and Seahawks games. Time well if they employ such a strategy, which the Falcons have used in the past under different regimes.
ONE PRIMETIME GAME: While night games are always fun, it's no shock the Falcons only got one. It's a bit of a bummer that it's away from home. The Falcons a team in some transition, and franchises who made the postseason the previous year typically get tons of opportunities to play at night. If the Falcons fare well in 2022, we should see more late games the following season. That said, playing at Carolina on a Thursday night should be fun. And, if you're going to play a road game on a short week, at least it's close by.
LATE BYE: The Falcons don't have their bye until Week 14. That's pretty, pretty, pretty late. It could help if the team's a bit worn down -- last year's Week 6 bye was too early -- but that's a long time to play before a break.
TOUGH STRETCH, THEN EASIER STREET. (MAYBE): I use both of those terms lightly, because we'll no idea how each team will fare in 2022. The NFL is too unpredictable for that. But, if we're using 2021 as our guide, the run in Weeks 5-7 could be tough. It features the Bucs, 49ers and Bengals. That's an NFC semifinalist, the NFC runner-up and the AFC champ in consecutive weeks. Yeesh. Then the Falcons have seven straight against teams that didn't make the 2021 playoffs, including the Panthers, Bears and Commanders in Weeks 10-12, with the Mitch Trubisky/Kenny Pickett-led Steelers in Week 13. If the Falcons are in it at midseason, they could surge in the second half.
2022 regular season schedule
|Sept. 11 at 1 pm||Saints||Tickets|
|Sept. 18 at 4:05 pm||at Rams||Tickets|
|Sept. 25 at 4:25 pm||at Seahawks||Tickets|
|Oct. 2 at 1 pm||Browns||Tickets|
|Oct. 9 at 1 pm||at Buccaneers||Tickets|
|Oct. 16 at 1 pm||49ers||Tickets|
|Oct. 23 at 1 pm||at Bengals||Tickets|
|Oct. 30 at 1 pm||Panthers||Tickets|
|Nov. 6 at 1 pm||Chargers||Tickets|
|Nov. 10 at 8:15 p.m.||at Panthers (Thurs.)||Tickets|
|Nov. 20 at 1 pm||Bears||Tickets|
|Nov. 27 at 1 pm||at Commanders||Tickets|
|Dec. 4 at 1 pm||Steelers||Tickets|
|Dec. 17/18 -- Time TBD||at Saints||Tickets|
|Dec. 24 at 1 pm||at Ravens (Sat.)||Tickets|
|Jan. 1 at 1 pm||Cardinals||Tickets|
|Jan. 7/8 -- Time TBD||Buccaneers||Tickets|
Rise up! It's a new season, and we can't wait to get started!
2022 preseason schedule
The three-game preseason slate is listed above, but it isn't quite complete. Exact dates and times for the Weeks 1 and 3 contests at Detroit and at home against the Jaguars, respectively, aren't set yet. Specifics will be determined in coming days. The Falcons will play a nationally televised game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on Aug. 22, which will be aired in primetime on ESPN.