FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – For the second year in a row, the Falcons will be tested right out of the gates.
Atlanta's 2019 schedule was released Wednesday evening, and the Falcons have a difficult five-game stretch to kick things off. Three of the five teams the Falcons start with reached the playoffs last season, and the other two teams were in the postseason in 2017.
Here is a look at the Falcons' first five games:
- Week 1 - at Minnesota Vikings (1 p.m. on FOX)
- Week 2 – vs. Philadelphia Eagles (8:20 p.m. on NBC)
- Week 3 - at Indianapolis Colts (1 p.m. on CBS)
- Week 4 – vs. Tennessee Titans (1 p.m. on CBS)
- Week 5 - at Houston Texans (1 p.m. on FOX)
Not a single one of those teams had a losing record in 2018, and each team except for Tennessee has had at least 10 wins in one of the past two seasons. Atlanta's five-game NFC South stretch might be the most important of 2019, but this opening run is the toughest.
The Falcons opened up the 2018 season with a loss on the road to the Eagles, and they lost their last game to the Vikings as well. Atlanta last faced the AFC South in 2015, going 3-1 against the entire division and 2-1 against the three teams mentioned above. The Falcons defeated the Texans and the Titans that season, but they lost a three-point game to the Colts.