Atlanta’s first game of the NFL season might also be its most important.
The Falcons will open against their rivals, the New Orleans Saints, at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 7, at the Georgia Dome. The NFL released schedules for all 32 teams Wednesday night.
Week 2 for the Falcons doesn’t get much easier. They will travel to Cincinnati for a 1 p.m. game on Sept. 14 against the defending AFC North champion Bengals. In a scheduling twist made possible by tweaks to the league’s broadcast policies, the game will air on CBS, not FOX.
The Falcons will have a short turnaround for Week 3, hosting Tampa Bay on Thursday, Sept. 18. CBS, which has acquired early season Thursday night broadcast rights, will air that contest.
Atlanta will only host seven home games this season. The Falcons’ Oct. 26 home game against Detroit was moved to London, a game that will start at 9:30 a.m. and will air on FOX.
The Falcons currently have no Sunday night broadcasts scheduled. They will visit Green Bay for a Monday night game Dec. 8. Other home games for the Falcons are Chicago (Oct. 12), Cleveland (Nov. 23), Arizona (Nov. 30), Pittsburgh (Dec. 14) and Carolina (Dec. 28). The Falcons’ other road games are Minnesota (Sept. 28), New York Giants (Oct. 5), Baltimore (Oct. 19), Tampa Bay (Nov. 9), Carolina (Nov. 16) and New Orleans (Dec. 21).
Sept. 7 vs. New Orleans, 1 p.m.
Sept. 14 at Cincinnati, 1 p.m.
Sept. 18 vs. Tampa Bay, 8:25 p.m.
Sept. 28 at Minnesota, 4:25 p.m.
Oct. 5 at New York Giants, 1 p.m.
Oct. 12 vs. Chicago, 1 p.m.
Oct. 19 at Baltimore, 1 p.m.
Oct. 26 vs. Detroit, 9:30 a.m. (in London)
Nov. 9 at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.
Nov. 16 at Carolina, 1 p.m.
Nov. 23 vs. Cleveland, 1 p.m.
Nov. 30 vs. Arizona, 4:05 p.m.
Dec. 8 at Green Bay, 8:30 p.m.
Dec. 14 vs. Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.
Dec. 21 at New Orleans, 1 p.m.
Dec. 28 vs. Carolina, 1 p.m.