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ATLANTA – The Atlanta Falcons' frequent-flyer miles will get a major boost in 2020.
The team announced Tuesday that it will be participating in the NFL International Series next season. This will be the second time the Falcons will play a regular-season game outside the U.S. border as part of this series. On Oct. 26, 2014, Atlanta lost to the Detroit Lions 22-21 in London's Wembley Stadium.
It's worth noting that the Falcons did beat the Buffalo Bills at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Canada, back on Dec. 1, 2013, as part of the Bills Toronto Series. Matt Bryant nailed a 36-yard field goal to lift the Falcons to a 34-31 overtime win, snapping a five-game losing streak.
Who the Falcons will play and the game's location has yet to be announced. What has been confirmed is the game will count as a home game for the Falcons and they will play a non-division opponent.
Since the NFL's scheduling formula ensures that all teams will play every team from every division in the other conference once every four years, we know that Atlanta is slated to play teams from the NFC North and the AFC West in 2020. The Falcons are playing teams from the NFC West and AFC South this season.
While the official dates and times for the 2020 schedule for International games will likely be announced in the coming months, here are the Falcons' home and away opponents as of right now:
- Carolina Panthers
- New Orleans Saints
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Chicago Bears
- Detroit Lions
- Denver Broncos
- Oakland Raiders
- NFC West opponent*
- at Carolina Panthers
- at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- at New Orleans Saints
- at Minnesota Vikings
- at Kansas City Chiefs
- at Los Angeles Chargers
- at Green Bay Packers
- at NFC East opponent*
If the season ended today, the Falcons' two NFC opponents would be the Arizona Cardinals (NFC West) and the Washington Redskins (NFC East).
In case you're wondering how each team's opponents are set, here is the official breakdown from the NFL:
- Six games against divisional opponents — two games per team, one at home and one on the road.
- Four games against teams from a division within its conference — two games at home and two on the road.
- Four games against teams from a division in the other conference— two games at home and two on the road.
- *Two games against teams from the two remaining divisions in its own conference — one game at home and one on the road. Matchups are based on division ranking from the previous season.