2022 NFL schedule: Ranking Atlanta’s top 5 games – Falcons Wire

The Atlanta Falcons‘ front office made some tough but necessary moves over the offseason, and fans are excited to see what the next chapter has in store.
With new starters at quarterback, wide receiver, tight end, linebacker and cornerback, there’s a real sense of unpredictability surrounding this year’s team. Regardless of the final record, it’s sure to be an interesting season in Atlanta.
The NFL released its 2022 schedule last week, and we’ve ranked the Falcons’ top five games.
(AP Photo/Danny Karnik)
The Falcons’ offseason makeover could pay off big down the line, but there will likely be an adjustment phase. Last season ended with a loss at home to the Saints, however, Atlanta can right that wrong with a win over New Orleans in this year’s season opener.
With both Sean Payton and Drew Brees gone, it’s officially the start of a new era for the top rivalry in the NFC South.
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Week 2 presents the chance to beat the defending Super Bowl-champion Rams in the stadium where they defeated the Bengals, 23-20, back in February. Arthur Smith gets to face off against Sean McVay, someone who’s complimented his offensive innovation in the past.
Slowing down Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, Aaron Donald and Allen Robinson will be a tough challenge for the new-look Falcons. Can A.J. Terrell, Grady Jarrett and Kyle Pitts make things interesting?
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta had the chance to select Justin Fields in last year’s draft, but opted for Kyle Pitts instead. With the perceived lack of top-end QB talent in the 2022 draft, and Matt Ryan out of the picture, did the team make a mistake passing on the Ohio State standout in 2021?
The Falcons will get a first-hand look at Fields in Week 11 when the Bears come to Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Plus, the Falcons have added about a half-dozen former Bears over the offseason which should make things interesting.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Similar to the Justin Fields situation in 2021, the Falcons had the chance to draft Steelers rookie QB Kenny Pickett back in April. The Pittsburgh standout was the first and only quarterback in the first round of the 2022 NFL draft.
The Steelers, like the Falcons, are transitioning from a future Hall of Fame QB and perhaps Pickett is the answer. Atlanta was able to land Desmond Ridder in the third round, and the rookie could potentially be starting by this point in the season.
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Regardless if the Falcons are contending for a playoff spot or not during this Week 18 matchup against Brady and the Bucs, Atlanta can prove it’s headed in the right direction with a victory against the NFC South favorites in the season finale.
Tampa Bay was one Matthew Stafford throw away from completing an improbable comeback in the playoffs against the Rams. Brady retired, then changed his mind a few weeks later and Todd Bowles took over has head coach. The Falcons get one more chance to beat Brady, who’s undefeated against Atlanta for his career.
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