Five Intriguing Matchups for the Falcons in 2015

1. Quinn Era Begins: What better way for Falcons head coach Dan Quinn to kick off his team's 2015 campaign than by facing offensive-minded Philadelphia head coach Chip Kelly and his fast-paced, new-look Eagles on Monday Night Football? Quinn's defense will see the likes of new offensive stars for Philadelphia, including quarterback Sam Bradford, running back DeMarco Murray and possibly the club's latest addition, Tim Tebow. The Falcons' defense will have to stick to its mantra, playing fast and physical, especially against an Eagles offense that reeled off plays at a frenetic pace in 2014, including averaging a play every 22.8 seconds.

2. Traveling to the Big Apple: The Falcons travel to the Big Apple in Week 2 for Quinn's first road test of the season, facing the New York Giants. Atlanta's defense faces another big-threat offense, including two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback Eli Manning, throwing to second-year-sensation wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who lit up the league as a rookie, recording 91 receptions, 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns in 12 games in 2014.

3. No Place Like Home:The Falcons return to the Georgia Dome in Week 4 after completing their second of two-straight road games in Week 3, a matchup against the Dallas Cowboys. Atlanta's home crowd is sure to welcome the team back, facing the Associated Press 2014 Defensive Player of the Year, J.J. Watt and the Houston Texans. Watt entered the league with the Texans in 2011 with Falcons linebacker Brooks Reed, who hopes to take the lessons he learned from his former teammate, creating chaos against the Houston offense.  

The Falcons' 2016 roster is constantly evolving and we've amassed all the players in one gallery that will be updated throughout the year

On the other side of the ball, the Falcons' offensive line faces the challenge of protecting quarterback Matt Ryan from Watt and second-year outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney. Look for Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan to draw up a plan that that sets up his team's high-powered offense for its possible second home win of the season.

4. More Reunions Continue: After facing one of his former teams, the Texans in Week 4, Shanahan sees another opponent he served as offensive coordinator in Week 5, the Washington Redskins. Shanahan spent four seasons as Washington's offensive coordinator, one more than Falcons assistant head coach/defensive passing game coordinator Raheem Morris, who served as Washington's defensive backs coach in the last three seasons.

The Week-5 reunion also includes Falcons running backs coach Bobby Turner and wide receiver Leonard Hankerson, who hopes to outshine his former Washington team by ideally grabbing a few passes for scores from Ryan, en route to a hopeful third win at home.

5. NFC South Rivals: All NFL fans know each game during the regular season is crucial, yet divisional games are always viewed with much more significance and with good reason. The 'win-and-you're-in' mentality often fuels a team's first goal of the season, win the division, earning a ticket to the playoffs.

The Falcons' six matchups (three home games and three away games) against their NFC South rivals, the New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, will never be overlooked. Click here for a glance at what the Falcons' division foes have done in the offseason, leading into next week's draft, before divisional play begins for Quinn and the Falcons in October.

Click here for the Falcons' complete schedule of the 2015 regular season.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

Advertising