On Tuesday, the Falcons announced their 2012 schedule.
The schedule features the traditional home and away matchups with the other NFC South teams, Carolina, New Orleans and Tampa. It also features the AFC South this year.
The schedule is heavy on the AFC South at the beginning this season. The Falcons open on the road in Kansas City before returning home to host the Broncos in the third Monday night game of 2012. Atlanta will return to the road on Week 3, traveling to San Diego. They finish up the AFC West portion of the schedule against Oakland, at home, in Week 6. The Falcons are 5-0 at San Diego and under head coach Mike Smith they are 5-0 on west coast trips.
One interesting characteristic of this year's schedule is that the Falcons will not play back-to-back home or road games all season, a rarity in the NFL. Last season, Atlanta played back-to-back road games three different times.
Atlanta will get plenty of national coverage during 2012. They'll play four nationally televised games, including the Monday night Denver matchup. The Falcons will also face Dallas in Week 9 on Sunday night, New Orleans on Thursday night in Week 13 and the Lions in Week 16 on Saturday night.
The Week 16 Monday night affair against the Lions marks the third year in a row the Falcons will play the final Monday night game of the season. Due to the Christmas holiday, the game will be played on Saturday night, December 22.
The Falcons' game against the Giants marks the third consecutive season they will face the defending Super Bowl Champions of the previous year.
Five of the final eight games on the season will be against NFC South opponents, including New Orleans twice during that stretch.
The Falcons bye week this season comes in Week 7, sandwiched between the home game against Oakland and a road game against Philadelphia.
It's the fifth straight season the Falcons will face the Eagles and Atlanta's final game of the season comes against the Bucs, the third time in four seasons this has happened.
The 2012 opponents' record last season is 125-131 and in total, the Falcons have won 161 games against their 2012 foes. Since 2008, the Falcons have a 22-16 record against its 2012 opponents.
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