Sunday, July 26, 2015

Four Must-see Falcons Games of 2015

Image via USA TODAY Sports/Dale Zanine

The Atlanta Falcons will begin their 50th training camp in franchise history and the first under Head Coach Dan Quinn this Thursday, which is the first time we'll get a chance to watch the 2015 Atlanta Falcons in full pads and battling for positions as we're getting closer to the start of the regular season. As we are less than 8 weeks away from our home opener against the Philadelphia Eagles, we covered four of the most intriguing games for Falcons fans to watch.

1) Eagles @ Falcons: Week 1--September 14th (7:00,ESPN)

Preview of Chip Kelly's fast paced offense

Undoubtedly, the first regular season game of the Dan Quinn era is a must-watch for Falcons fans. The Atlanta Falcons new-look defense--which will pride itself on being fast and physical--will clash with the Philadelphia Eagles fast-paced offense under head coach Chip Kelly. And just to make things more exciting, this contest will be in prime-time on Monday Night Football. 

For now, the Eagles are set to have a training camp battle between Tim Tebow, Mark Sanchez, and Sam Bradford for the starting quarterback spot. This battle will continue throughout the pre-season with the winner being the guy that Chip Kelly trusts to give the Eagles the best chance to win; therefore, the Falcons need to be ready for him. 

2) Buccaneers @ Falcons: Week 8-- November 1st (1:00,FOX)

Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston practiced for the first time with the team Friday, May 8, 2015 at One Buc Place in Tampa. Photo by JAMES BORCHUCK | Times

The week eight contest against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be Atlanta’s first face-to-face encounter with quarterback Jameis Winston, the number one overall pick from the 2015 NFL Draft. Winston should have his bearings in the NFL by the time this mid-season game rolls around which could make this a tough match-up for the Falcons defense.

It’ll be the Falcons priority to make Winston uncomfortable since this dual-threat quarterback, who won a national championship at Florida State, is quite the confident competitor. Also, with the solid receiving tandem of Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans, the Falcons secondary will be up for a major challenge as well. 

3) Colts @ Falcons: Week 11-- November 22nd (1:00,CBS)

Andrew Luck TD pass in the Colts win over the Seahawks in 2013

This is one of the more important games, nonetheless, one of the biggest home games for the Falcons because it’ll be the first time quarterbacks Matt Ryan and Andrew Luck cross paths. Additionally, this game serves as a measuring stick for Dan Quinn and company against one of the NFL's elite teams.

Led by quarterback Andrew Luck, the Indianapolis Colts are a very good football team and are considered a Super Bowl favorite in 2015. Andrew Luck; running back Frank Gore; and wide receivers TY Hilton and Andre Johnson should be a tough test for the Falcons defense. Speaking of defense, it should be noted that Andrew Luck went head-to-head and defeated Dan Quinn’s defense in a week five match-up against the Seattle Seahawks in 2013.

Expect this game to have a similar flare to the Falcons 2010 match-up against the Baltimore Ravens. As Falcons fans may remember, that game served as the first time Matt Ryan faced off against Joe Flacco. Come November 22nd, Luck and Ryan, who are both considered two of the top tier quarterbacks in the NFL should put on a show for the ages.

4) Saints @ Falcons: Week 17-- January 3,2016 (1:00,FOX)

Antone Smith explosive touchdown in the Falcons 37-34 win over New Orleans last season

Last but definitely not least, the week 17 match-up against the New Orleans Saints is a must-watch for all Falcons fans. 

Ever since the NFL implemented the rule stating all week 17 games must be within your division, the Falcons have only faced either the Carolina Panthers or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the regular season finale. That changes this season as the Falcons will face their fiercest rival from the bayou to conclude the 2015 NFL regular season.

The Falcons will first clash with the Saints in a Thursday night showdown at the Mercedes-Benz Super Dome in week six; however the week 17 match-up could have playoff implications which will had drama to this contest. And if history is any indication, this game will be close-knit and come down to the wire. 

Anytime Drew Brees and Matt Ryan face off, the Falcons and Saints are in for an intense battle. Atlanta earned their first sweep over New Orleans since 2005 last year so the Saints will be pumped to exact revenge on their rivals this season for sure.

Which games are you most looking forward to this season, Falcons fans?  

--- David Schiele (Deacon_Schiele)

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