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Falcons Schedule: 3 Most Important Games for Atlanta

These dates definitely need to be circled.

The Atlanta Falcons 2022 schedule officially released Thursday and fans are planning their game itineraries for the season.

For the Falcons, every one of the 17 games is important, but some hold a little more weight than others.

Here's a look at the three most important games on the docket:

Kyle Pitts
terry-fontenot-dale-zanine-usa-today-sports
Marcus Mariota

Week 1 vs. Saints - September 11, 1 p.m.

The season opener against your biggest rival? This was an easy addition to the list. The Falcons also have the opportunity to be over .500 for the first time since the 2017 season.

This game also has a number of high-profile debuts on both sides. For the Saints, Tyrann Mathieu and Jarvis Landry could make their first appearance for their hometown team. And for the Falcons, Marcus Mariota (or Desmond Ridder...?) could officially kick off the post-Matt Ryan era in Atlanta.

Week 10 @ Panthers - November 10, 8:15 p.m. (Thursday Night Football)

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This is another easy inclusion on the list considering this is the only primetime appearance for the Falcons this season.

The Falcons officially enter the second half of the season with a nationally-televised game against another division rival.

This could also be an opportunity to see two rookie quarterbacks face off in Matt Corral and Desmond Ridder. With few rookie quarterbacks getting the opportunity to start this season, the Panthers and Falcons might want to see more of who they invested in before deciding to plunge into the 2023 quarterback draft class.

Marcus Mariota
Marcus Mariota
Tyler Allgeier

Week 11 vs. Bears - November 20, 1 p.m.

After serving as general manager for six seasons, Falcons senior personnel executive Ryan Pace gets a crack at the team he helped create.

Considering the game is at home and coming off an extended week, the Falcons have a massive opportunity to grab a win here. The game could also have major ramifications in next year's draft order.