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2023 Falcons schedule release: key dates, matchups and storylines

Highlights include the Falcons holding the easiest strength of schedule in 2023, a closer look at the London game in October and a near-perfect (?) bye week. 

The 2023 Falcons schedule has arrived in its entirety. You can see the Falcons full slate of games below as you plan out your football season wish list. There's a few storylines to hit as we take a closer look at the schedule, though. The highlights include the Falcons facing the entire NFC North and AFC South, as well as their regularly scheduled home-and-home series with divisional rivals, as well as - perhaps - the perfect bye week.


The Falcons had the second-most cap space in the NFL when the 2023 league year began in March. Since then, they've seriously upgraded their defense with the money they had to spend in free agency, grabbing guys like Jessie Bates III, David Onyemata, Calais Campbell and Bud Dupree. They also prioritized the line of scrimmage this offseason, too, signing Chris Lindstrom to a major extension and Kaleb McGary to a three-year deal. Following the 2023 NFL Draft, the Falcons added six rookies to the roster, namely Bijan Robinson with the No. 8 overall pick.

Atlanta's roster is nearly full. They've created a team in a way they've been unable to since Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith took over. Now, they have their schedule.

WELCOME TO THE NFL, BRYCE YOUNG: The No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft's first game will be in Atlanta. That's right, the Falcons open the season hosting the Carolina Panthers at home on Sept. 10. The Panthers are under new leadership, with Frank Reich being named the Panthers next head coach in January. They also were aggressive in their desire to move up in the draft to have their chance at QB Bryce Young, trading away two first-round picks, second-rounders in 2023 and 2025 and wide receiver DJ Moore to Chicago for the opportunity to get the Alabama product and former Heisman trophy recipient. Young's first taste of the league will be against a new-look Falcons defense in Week 1 of the 2023 season. With the Falcons having little-to-no tape available of Carolina's defense, and Carolina having very little idea regarding what Ryan Nielsen plans to do on defense, this game could be a fun chess match to watch.

LONDON CALLING: In case you missed it, the Falcons are set to face the Jacksonville Jaguars in London at Wembley Stadium on Oct. 1 as one of the five games of the 2023 NFL International Games. This will mark the Falcons third time playing a regular season game in London, having lost in 2014 and won in 2021. This will be the Jaguars 10th time playing overseas. The difference for both teams in regards to this game is what happens after it's played, though. Neither team has a bye following this London matchup. A new wrinkle in the 2023 schedules is that teams no longer have to hold their bye week directly following a game overseas. Neither Atlanta or Jacksonville plan to, as the Jaguars are set to play in London again a week later against the Bills and the Falcons heading back home to host the Texans on Oct. 8. The bye comes later, which may not be a bad thing, but more on that later.

THE GRIND OF OCTOBER: One of the most intriguing slate of games the Falcons will have in 2023 is the five in which Atlanta has in October alone. From the Oct. 1 game in London, the Falcons return stateside for four more consecutive games, two of the four being road games against Tampa Bay and Tennessee. This stint, coming in Week 4 to Week 8, is a grind, one that could set Atlanta up for - yes - playoff contention conversation if they get some decisive wins along the way. It's also the point in the season in which the Falcons identity should be set, with (one would assume) Desmond Ridder's feet firmly planted in the offense and the defense firing on all cylinders.

THE PERFECT (?) BYE: One could argue a bye week can never be perfect, but considering the Falcons recent track record of bye week slots, this year's is without question the best they've had. In 2021, they played in London early and had to have their bye week in Week 6 upon their return. It was the earliest bye week a team could have. Last year, the Falcons were hit with the exact opposite conundrum, with the last bye week a team could have in Week 14. So, having a bye week fall in Week 11? That's a much better option for any team.

ON THE EVE(s): Get the holiday cheer ready, and while you're readying the house for Christmas festivities or New Year's Eve parties, maybe turn on the Falcons game, or better yet, you have the day off, you could go to the game. With Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve falling on Sundays this year, the Falcons are set to host one while traveling to another. Christmas Eve will be spent at home, with the Falcons hosting the Indianapolis Colts. They'll be on the road for New Year's Eve, slated to travel to Chicago that weekend, hoping to bring in 2024 with a win.

NO THURSDAY NIGHT GAME: After two years of Thursday Night matchups, the Falcons were not selected for one in 2023. In fact, all of their games in 2023 have the chance to fall on a Sunday. That could keep them on regular rest throughout the season, without short practice weeks, unless they get flexed to Monday night between Weeks 12-17. The only question mark and potential flex games include Week 15 against the Panthers in Carolina and Week 18 for the regular season finale in New Orleans against the Saints, which could be held on a Saturday or Sunday.

FIGHT TO THE FINISH: If history serves, the final seven games of the 2023 regular season will mean the most for divisional standings. Atlanta will face the Saints twice, the first time coming out the Week 11 bye and the second being the aforementioned regular season finale in Week 18. The divisional opponents will be broken up with games against the Jets, Colts and Bears, but the best way to earn a playoff bid is to win the division. So, mark these late-season divisional games on your calendar. They'll be important.

ONE NOTE THAT MAY MEAN MORE THAN THE REST: The Falcons have the easiest strength of schedule entering into the season not just in the league in 2023, but for any team since 2018. Four of the last six teams that entered the season with the easiest strength of schedule made the playoffs that year. Divisional rivals New Orleans and Atlanta have the two easiest strength of schedule in the league this year, with the Saints holding an opponent win percentage of .427 while the Falcons sit at .417. The Falcons have finished the last two seasons at 7-10. They were competitive with a roster that was pieced together with rookies and veterans on cap-friendly, one-year deals. The 2023 roster has had more money and resources pumped into it. With the easiest strength of schedule and a recently beefed up team, the Falcons - on paper - should be quite excited for 2023.

2023 regular season schedule

Table inside Article
Sept. 10 at 1 pm EST Panthers Tickets
Sept. 17 at 1 pm EST Packers Tickets
Sept. 24 at 1 pm EST at Lions Tickets
Oct. 1 at 9:30 am EST at Jaguars (Wembley) Tickets
Oct. 8 at 1 pm EST Texans Tickets
Oct. 15 at 1 pm EST Commanders Tickets
Oct. 22 at 1 pm EST at Buccaneers Tickets
Oct. 29 at 1 pm EST at Titans Tickets
Nov. 5 at 1 pm EST Vikings Tickets
Nov. 12 at 4:05 pm EST at Cardinals Tickets
Week 11 BYE
Nov. 26 at 1 pm EST Saints Tickets
Dec. 3 at 1 pm EST at Jets Tickets
Dec. 10 at 1 pm EST Buccaneers Tickets
Week 15 - TBD at Panthers Tickets
Dec. 24 at 1 pm EST Colts Tickets
Dec. 31 at 1 pm EST at Bears Tickets
Week 18 - TBD at Saints Tickets

It's a new season, and we can't wait to get started! Get an inside look at our opponents week by week for the 2023 season.

2023 preseason schedule

Table inside Article
Week 1 -- TBD at Dolphins Tickets
Week 2 -- TBD Bengals Tickets
Week 3 -- TBD Steelers Tickets

The three-game preseason slate is listed above, but it isn't quite complete. Exact dates, times and TV carriers for all three games have yet to be set. Updates will be available for these games in the coming days.

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