5 predictions to bank on for the Atlanta Falcons in 2020

Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Deion Jones, Atlanta Falcons
Deion Jones, Altanta Falcons. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /

The Atlanta Falcons have a second-place schedule and will have to face the AFC West and the NFC North this year. How will they do this year record-wise?

2020 is the year the Atlanta Falcons need to find a way to get back into the NFC playoffs. Back-to-back years of 7-9 won’t cut it anymore. While the rest of the country has moved off the disappointing Falcons and think they’re cooked under the current establishment, we did see signs of positivity regarding the Dirty Birds at the end of the year. Maybe they have righted the ship?

After a dreadful 1-7 start to the 2019 campaign, the Falcons went 6-2 in the second. The season was already so lost, it was ridiculous, but ending the year on a strong note might have served as a catalyst for good things ahead in 2020. Atlanta made a few big acquisitions in free agency like Dante Fowler and Todd Gurley, as well as six picks in the 2020 NFL Draft including A.J. Terrell.

The Falcons made it a point to get better in all areas of their defense, prioritizing getting high-character guys at all levels, as well as landing players who have something to prove on the offensive side of the ball. While they may not be the most talented team in the NFC next year, Atlanta might have the ingredients to push for a playoff spot if all things go according to plan.

With the NFL schedule being released today, let’s take a look at a few predictions for the Falcons.

Winning record at home

The easiest way to getting back into the playoff picture is to win more games at home than you lose. Though having a losing record on the road isn’t great, it’s something a quality team can over come if it takes care of business at home. While the road games are incredibly daunting for the Falcons, there is a pathway to where the Dirty Birds could go undefeated at home this year.

8-0 at home would be a pipe dream, but 7-1 is possible, 6-2 is likely and 5-3 is doable if they slip up a few times. This year, the Falcons face all three of their divisional rivals at home this year, the Denver Broncos and the Las Vegas Raiders out of the AFC West, the Chicago Bears and the Detroit Lions out of the NFC North and the Seattle Seahawks to round out their second-place schedule.

Of those eight games, the home dates vs. the Lions and the Carolina Panthers feel like easy wins. None of the AFC West or NFC North games at Mercedes-Benz Stadium look overly daunting for the Falcons. Though the New Orleans Saints and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home will be tough, anything can happen in a divisional rivalry game. The home team usually has the edge.

But perhaps the most challenging game for the Falcons at home will be vs. the Seahawks. It’ll be another rendition or mentor vs. protege when Pete Carroll brings his Pacific Northwest team to take on his former defensive coordinator Dan Quinn’s team in the Dirty South. Even if the Falcons lose to a team like Seattle, there are still at least five winnable home games on their schedule.