To be the best you sometimes have to beat the best, and last season one of the reasons the Falcons were one of the best teams in the NFL is because they frequently faced Pro Bowl quarterbacks, and won.
Last season, the Falcons faced 11 such QBs, including two games each against NFC South rivals Drew Brees and Cam Newton. They were 11-2 against the Pro Bowl quarterbacks and were just one of only two teams to face that many quarterbacks with Pro Bowl honors. The Saints were the other and against that competition they were 5-8.
This season the Falcons won't face quite as many of the upper echelon quarterbacks as they did last year. In 2013 they'll only see seven Pro Bowl quarterbacks, with two of them once again being Brees and Newton twice each inside the division.
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In addition to Brees and Newton, Atlanta faces New England's Tom Brady, Arizona's Carson Palmer, Seattle's Russell Wilson, Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers and Washington's Robert Griffin III. Palmer, Wilson and Griffin were each opponents last season and the Falcons were victorious in each occasion.
Against the Pro Bowl signal callers last season the Falcons defense gave up 12 passing touchdowns in those 13 games and intercepted 17 throws. They registered 25 sacks and limited eight of the QBs to a passer rating less than 85. They intercepted multiple passes against five of those quarterbacks.