How the Falcons Have PFN’s Easiest Strength of Schedule in the NFL This Season

For the second year in a row, the Atlanta Falcons will have the easiest strength of schedule in the NFL for the 2024 season.

While the four-win New England Patriots will face the most difficult schedule in 2024, the Atlanta Falcons had a much luckier draw.

The Falcons have the easiest strength of schedule for the upcoming season. New head coach Raheem Morris and quarterback Kirk Cousins won’t have to face a difficult slate while they aim to bring the NFC South crown to Atlanta for the first time since 2016.

Falcons Have the Easiest Schedule in 2024

According to Pro Football Network’s strength of schedule rankings, the Falcons have the easiest slate for 2024. Atlanta had the easiest strength of schedule last season as well and went 7-10.

Last year, the Falcons lost to eight non-playoff teams, including the Washington Commanders, Tennessee Titans, Arizona Cardinals, and Carolina Panthers. Excluding their wins against Atlanta, those teams went 12-52 (.188 win percentage) in 2023.

Cousins represents a significant upgrade over 2023 Falcons quarterbacks Desmond Ridder and Taylor Heinicke, and he will be dropped into a strong offense that already includes RB Bijan Robinson, WR Drake London, and TE Kyle Pitts.

The Falcons’ home opponents include the Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, and Pittsburgh Steelers.

Their away opponents are the Panthers, Saints, Buccaneers, Commanders, Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings, Denver Broncos, and Las Vegas Raiders. Atlanta’s opponents’ combined 2023 record is 131-158 (.453).

Atlanta should be considered the favorite in the NFC South and will potentially benefit from facing rookie QBs when they play the Commanders and Vikings on the road.

The Falcons play just five games against teams that made the postseason last year. That includes two matchups with the Buccaneers, who won the NFC South with a 9-8 record in Baker Mayfield’s first season with the team. Tampa Bay figures to be Atlanta’s top challenger in the NFC South, which remains one of the weaker divisions in the NFL.

The Falcons could have a slow start. Four of the team’s first five games are against playoff opponents, and the one that isn’t is the Saints’ visit to Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Atlanta’s easiest game in the first five weeks is arguably the season opener against the Steelers, but the Falcons hold an all-time record of 2-15-1 vs. Pittsburgh.

With a trip to Philadelphia and then visits from the Chiefs, Saints, and Buccaneers after that, Atlanta’s new quarterback and head coach could have a rough start.

After Week 9, the Falcons don’t face a 2023 playoff team. A strong run to finish the season is definitely possible, so a slow start won’t doom the team.

MORE: 2024 NFL Season and Playoff Predictor

Atlanta has strong potential to make a run at the NFC South title in 2024. Cousins’ addition should transform its offense and complete a unit that could be among the most efficient in the NFL, especially as Robinson enters his second season.

The Falcons will benefit from an easy schedule in a weak division, so if they stay healthy, they should be able to lock into a top-four NFC seed. Cousins has just one career playoff win, so it’s not clear whether Atlanta can mount a deep playoff run. But the Falcons should still be expected to be one of the NFC’s best teams during the regular season.

Pro Football Network’s 2024 NFL Strength of Schedule rankings take into account our internal rankings, the opinion of sportsbooks, and advanced metrics. Check out all 32 teams’ strength of schedule and where they rank league-wide.

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