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Opponents Set for Falcons Next Season

Atlanta gets third-place schedule and nine home games in 2022

Fans of the Atlanta Falcons may not know if Matt Ryan will be in a Falcons uniform next season, but they now know who the 2022 opponents will be. 

How does the scheduling format work?

Six games are made up from their NFC South opponents (home and away). Four are against teams from another division within the conference (rotating three-year cycle), with four being played against teams from an AFC division (rotating four-year cycle). Two games are played within NFC, based on the standings of the prior year. And finally one game will be played against an AFC team, also based on the prior year.

Good news: Atlanta will have nine home games because in the first season of the 17-game format, the Falcons had nine on the road.

Since Atlanta finished third in the NFC South, it will play the third- place schedule.

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The 2022 opponents:

Home: Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Los Angeles Chargers and Chicago Bears.

Road: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Washington Football Team.

The NFL is expecting to release official dates and times for the schedule in May.

Aside from the uncertainty that surrounds Ryan returning as quarterback and the daunting task of facing six current playoff teams, the Falcons do have the eighth overall pick in April's NFL Draft.

A return to the playoffs for the Falcons will likely depend on hitting in the draft and free agency. Among the mock drafts currently out, Mel Kiper has Atlanta going defensive in the first round. Offensively, the Falcons could look at running back help.