Atlanta Falcons' schedule 2020: Tom Brady, Bucs await in two of last three

The Falcons' biggest can't-miss game on the 2020 schedule (0:52)

Vaughn McClure lists the Falcons' Monday Night matchup in Week 4 against the Packers as the one to keep an eye on. (0:52)

The Atlanta Falcons' schedule for 2020 was released Thursday.

The regular season kicks off with the Houston Texans visiting the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday, Sept. 10 (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC). The opening doubleheader for Monday Night Football will feature the Pittsburgh Steelers at the New York Giants (7:10 p.m. ET, ESPN) and the Tennessee Titans at the Denver Broncos (10:20 p.m. ET) on Monday, Sept. 14.

Check out the full week-by-week schedule here. Here’s what is in store for the Falcons:

Game-by-game prediction

Falcons reporter Vaughn McClure is predicting a 9-7 finish:

Sept. 13: vs. Seahawks, Win

Sept. 20: at Cowboys, Loss

Sept. 27: vs. Bears, Win

Oct. 5: at Packers, Loss

Oct. 11: vs. Panthers, Win

Oct. 18: at Vikings, Loss

Oct. 25: vs. Lions, Win

Oct. 29: at Panthers, Win

Nov. 8: vs. Broncos, Win

Nov. 15: BYE

Nov. 22: at Saints, Loss

Nov. 29: vs. Raiders, Win

Dec. 6: vs. Saints, Loss

Dec. 13: at Chargers, Win

Dec. 20: vs Buccaneers, Win

Dec. 27: at Chiefs, Loss

Jan. 3: at Buccaneers, Loss

Strength of schedule: T-5th, .526


The Falcons have a tough start out the gates in facing the Seahawks, Cowboys, and Packers in the first four weeks. Both Seattle and Green Bay made the playoffs last season, and defending Russell Wilson, Dak Prescott, and Aaron Rodgers will be a tall task for the rebuilt Falcons’ defense. Facing rival New Orleans twice in three weeks after a Week 10 bye won’t be easy, either, but the best-case scenario would be to start division play 2-0 against Carolina. The Falcons would love for the most meaningful stretch of the season to be the last three weeks as they play NFC South foe Tampa Bay and newcomer Tom Brady twice, with a matchup against the Super Bowl champion Chiefs sandwiched in between. This is a must-win season for coach Dan Quinn, and it would be quite a thriller if the team’s playoff fate comes down to beating Brady twice. By the way, Brady is 6-0 against the Falcons in his career, including Super Bowl LI.

Taking on the champs

The Falcons travel to Kansas City to take on Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs in Week 16. Falcons free safety and captain Ricardo Allen, who noted there are “not very many pushovers’’ on the schedule, talked about facing the defending Super Bowl champions. “We’ve got a fight already ahead of ourselves. This is not going to be an easy walk in the park for a season at all. I’ve never played down there. I know Pat [Mahomes]. He’s good. He can get it done. So, we better be ready." The Falcons last played at Arrowhead Stadium in 2012 as Matt Ryan upstaged Matt Cassel in a 40-24 Falcons’ win.

How's the weather?

Allen said he checks the schedule to see which cold-weather games the team could play. Well, traveling to Green Bay for Monday Night Football in Week 4 might be quite a blessing for the Falcons. They’ve gone to Lambeau Field in December the previous three trips -- all Week 14 -- and lost all three of those cold-weather games. The December/January road trips this season are to Los Angeles (Chargers), Kansas City, and Tampa Bay, so the Falcons might have to brace for the cold at Arrowhead. The Falcons play their eight home games inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium and are scheduled to play three road games indoors at New Orleans, Minnesota, and Dallas.