On Tuesday (April 17) night, the National Football League released the 2012 schedule. The Atlanta Falcons already knew that they would play Peyton Manning, Michael Vick, Matthew Stafford and Eli Manning in 2012, but now they know when.
In week three, the Falcons will travel to the west coast to face the San Diego Chargers. This matchup features two teams that tend to be solid in the regular season, but falter in the playoffs. It will be interesting to see how the Chargers play without their star wide receiver, Vincent Jackson. The team still has Philip Rivers and Ryan Mathews, but can Antonio Gates stay healthy for the entire season to help lead them?
In week nine, NBC will carry the Sunday night matchup between Atlanta and the Dallas Cowboys at the Georgia Dome. At this point, the Falcons will have played seven games already and will have a good indication of where they stand in the league. The new additions to the team should have found a way to work well together, as will the new pieces for the Cowboys. The top receiver for Dallas a year ago moved on (Laurent Robinson), but the team still has great talent on offense with Miles Austin and Dez Bryant.
In week 16, the Falcons will play in their fourth nationally televised game, traveling to Detroit to battle the Lions. With the regular season finale set against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, this game with the Lions will be a major test. The Falcons tend to struggle when they play in front of a national audience, so this game could either propel them towards the playoffs or send them on an early vacation.
(All times listed in ET)
Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 9, at Kansas City, 1:00 PM
Week 2: Monday, Sept. 17, Denver, 8:30 PM, ESPN
Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 23, at San Diego, 4:05 PM
Week 4: Sunday, Sept. 30, Carolina, 1:00 PM
Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 7, at Washington, 1:00 PM
Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 14, Oakland, 1:00 PM
Week 7: BYE
Week 8: Sunday, Oct. 28, at Philadelphia, 1:00 PM
Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 4, Dallas, 8:20 PM, NBC
Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 11, at New Orleans, 1:00 PM
Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 18, Arizona, 1:00 PM
Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 25, at Tampa Bay, 1:00 PM
Week 13: Thursday, Nov. 29, New Orleans, 8:20 PM, NFL Network
Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 9, at Carolina, 1:00 PM
Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 16, NY Giants, 1:00 PM
Week 16: Saturday, Dec. 22, at Detroit, 8:30 PM, ESPN
Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 30, Tampa Bay, 1:00 PM
For a look at season recaps for the Atlanta Falcons, go here for easier access.
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Hobson Lopes is a fan of the Atlanta Falcons, thanks to Deion Sanders and can be followed on Twitter @HobsonLopes.
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