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2024 Falcons schedule release: key dates, matchups and storylines  

Highlights include four prime-time games, plus a closer look at where NFC South rivals fall on the calendar.   

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – After months of waiting and speculating, the 2024 schedule has dropped.

You can view the Falcons schedule in its entity here, but to keep things fresh, below are a few themes for you to ponder as you work through the 2024 schedule.

RETURN TO THE BENZ: The Atlanta Falcons' home opener is always a game to mark on the calendars. But this year? It probably means just a little bit more for a number of reasons. For starters, a new-look Pittsburgh Steelers are coming to town with a bunch of new faces – and a new quarterback (or two) in tow. Speaking of quarterbacks, it'll be the first chance for anyone to see Kirk Cousins not just in full action but in a Falcons game-day uniform. That in itself is reason enough for excitement among the fan base. However, that's not all: The Sept. 8 matchup will also see the return of former head coach Arthur Smith to Mercedes-Benz Stadium, this time as the Steelers' offensive coordinator. Oh, and running back Cordarrelle Patterson… and wide receiver Scotty Miller… and tight end MyCole Pruitt. Basically, there will be a lot of name recognition on the field to start the 2024 season.

IN THE PRIME TIME, PEOPLE: For the first time since 2022, the Falcons will have a prime-time game. Well, technically, they'll have four. Yes, four. The last time the Falcons were in a prime-time slot, it was a cold, rainy and simply put dreary evening in Charlotte, North Carolina. I won't rehash that experience here. We're looking ahead to new horizons. So, here's the breakdown, which includes two Monday Night Football matchups, one Thursday night bout on Amazon Prime and, for the first time in a long time, a Sunday with the lights on:

  • Monday, Sept. 16: Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles, 8:15 p.m. ET on ESPN
  • Sunday, Sept. 22: Atlanta Falcons vs. Kansas City Chiefs, 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC
  • Thursday, Oct. 3: Atlanta Falcons vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 8:15 p.m. ET on Prime Video
  • Monday, Dec. 16: Atlanta Falcons at Las Vegas Raiders, 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN

The Falcons haven't had a Monday Night Football game since losing to the Green Bay Packers in 2020.

Atlanta is the only winless team in prime-time games since 2021. Quarterback Kirk Cousins is 12-19 in career prime-time games.


CLIMBING THE MOUNTAIN: One could argue the toughest part of the 2024 schedule for the Falcons is in the first two months of the season. After opening the season against the Steelers, the Falcons face the Eagles, the reigning Super Bowl champions and all three NFC South opponents from Weeks 2 to 6. This run is a challenge, and it not only sets the tone for the entire year, but it may very well dictate a potential postseason run for Atlanta.

NO TIME TO WAIT: What's so interesting about this year's schedule is it's not backloaded with divisional matchups. The Falcons will play five of their six divisional games before their Week 12 bye. They'll still end the season hosting an NFC South opponent, the Carolina Panthers, but in contrast to the last few years, the NFC South may be decided well before Week 18 if one team pulls ahead in divisional wins.

A CHANCE TO MAKE A RUN: If the start of the Falcons' season (on paper) involves a juggernaut of a run against top contenders, then the final portion of the Falcons' season (on paper) involves a chance for Atlanta to notch some wins. From Weeks 15 to 18, the Falcons face the Las Vegas Raiders and Washington Commanders on the road and host the New York Giants and Panthers to finish out the season. This stretch of games could be a good opportunity for the Falcons to solidify their resume and get it above .500 for the first time since 2017.

STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE: For the second year in a row, the Falcons have the easiest strength of schedule in the league. This season, they are tied with the New Orleans Saints. The Cleveland Browns (No. 1), Baltimore Ravens (No. 2) and Pittsburgh Steelers (No. 3) make up the top-three hardest strength of schedules. The Falcons face the Ravens in the preseason and open the season at home against the Steelers.

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