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Atlanta Falcons Game-by-Game Predictions

Post-Ryan Era Begins

Can the Atlanta Falcons improve on a 7-10 finish? Or will they take a step backward as a new era dawns in 2022?

According to the markets, the Falcons are expected to take a step back this season. BetUS Sportsbook projects the Falcons as the fourth-best bet to win the NFC South title. They’re also projected on a very low 4 ½ -game win-total with the over juiced to -125 and the under priced at -105.

Marcus Mariota #1 of Atlanta Falcons passes during a training camp practice on July 27, 2022 in Flowery Branch, Georgia
Marcus Mariota - Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

If you’re a forward-thinking NFL bettor, as we are, then read on for our way too early game-by-game predictions for the Atlanta Falcons. We dive into their NFL schedule, examine the NFL odds, and take into consideration the latest NFL news, trades, injury reports, and more before delivering our NFL picks and predictions.

2022 NFL Futures – Atlanta Falcons

  • Super Bowl LVII +15000
  • NFC Conference +7500
  • NFC South +2500
  • Regular Season Win Totals O 4½ (-125) / U 4½ (-105)

Mariota or Ridder?

The Atlanta Falcons hit the refresh button emphatically in the offseason. Veteran quarterback Matt Ryan was packed off to the Indianapolis Colts and Las Vegas Raiders backup Marcus Mariota, who’s eyeing his first starting gig since the Tennessee Titans replaced him with Ryan Tannehill in 2019, was signed in his stead.

But that’s not all. Adding another layer to the intrigue at the quarterback positions is Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder, who the Falcons drafted in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Early indications suggest that Mariota will be the Falcons’ starter, at least in Week 1 of the NFL season. Whether he holds that job until the end is up in the air.

For our way too early predictions, we work with the assumption that this is Mariota’s team now until it isn’t. So with that in mind, we dive into the NFL schedule and deliver our final verdict below.

Atlanta Falcons Game-by-Game Preview & Predictions

Week 1 vs New Orleans Saints – Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, 1 p.m. ET

The Falcons pick up from where they left off last season, in a divisional bout with the Saints. The Falcons split the series by winning 27-25 on the road in Week 9 and losing 30-20 at home in Week 18. Early Week 1 NFL lines project the Falcons as 5½-point underdogs at home, which just about sums up the overriding pessimistic outlook that precedes them. However, Week 1 is always a bit of a crap shoot. Everyone agrees the Saints are better on paper, but these teams look different entering 2022. So, don’t be surprised if the Falcons pull off the upset.

  • Prediction: Win
  • Record: 1-0

Week 2 at Los Angeles Rams – Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022, 4:05 p.m. ET

With the ninth-toughest NFL schedule according to the strength of schedule rankings, it won’t take long for the Falcons to feel the brute force of it. Put simply, it doesn’t get tougher than facing the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams.

  • Prediction: Loss
  • Record: 1-1

Week 3 at Seattle Seahawks – Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, 4:25 p.m. ET

With both these teams bidding adieu to their franchise quarterbacks this offseason, there’s a feeling that the playing field is level between them. If it comes down to a matchup between Marcus Mariota and Drew Lock or Geno Smith, the former strikes the more convincing pose.

  • Prediction: Win
  • Record: 2-1

Week 4 vs Cleveland Browns – Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022, 1 p.m. ET

Everything hinges on the starting quarterback. Assuming Deshaun Watson’s six-game suspension applies here, Jacoby Brissett will be the starter. Brissett’s resume includes stints on good teams — the longest being in Indy where he started 30 games for the Colts and went 11-19-0. Last season, he started five games for the Dolphins and went 1-4 SU. The lone win was against the Houston Texans. Based on Brissett’s unimpressive stats, would it be such a shocker to see the Falcons win this game?

  • Prediction: Win
  • Record: 3-1
Jacoby Brissett of Cleveland Browns training.
Jacoby Brissett / Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Week 5 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Sunday, Oct. 9. 2022, 1 p.m. ET

The Falcons are riding a four-game losing streak against the Tom Brady-led Tampa Bay Buccaneers since 2020. Hard to see that trend changing here.

  • Prediction: Loss
  • Record: 3-2

Week 6 vs San Francisco 49ers – Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022, 1 p.m. ET

The Niners are turning to Tray Lance – an untried quarterback with only 17 college football games under his belt and a 1-1 record in two NFL starts (lost to Cardinals; beat Texans) in his rookie year. The talent might be there, but it’s impossible to know what to expect this early in his career. Then there’s the added pressure of having to prove the Niners were right to move away from Jimmy G – the guy that took them to two NFC Championship Games and Super Bowl LV. As such, this game might be more of a toss-up than most would expect it to be.

  • Prediction: Win
  • Record: 4-2

Week 7 at Cincinnati Bengals – Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022, 1 p.m. ET

The Super Bowl runner-up Cincinnati Bengals were the surprise package of 2021, but they’re not content with being just a seasonal trend. They’re young. They got bigger, stronger and faster in the offseason and they’re out to prove those critics that predict a regression for them wrong.

  • Prediction: Loss
  • Record: 4-3

Week 8 vs Carolina Panthers – Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022, 1 p.m. ET

Matt Rhule is 10-23-0 as an NFL head coach. Coaches have been fired for less, so it’s somewhat surprising to see Rhule at the helm going into 2022. Add to that a quarterback carousel that features Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold and Matt Carroll, the Panthers could very well be destined for another turbulent season.

  • Prediction: Win
  • Record: 5-3

Week 9 vs Los Angeles Chargers – Sunday, Nov. 6, 2022, 1 p.m. ET

Big things are being projected for Justin Herbert and Co. in 2022, making the Chargers the vogue NFL pick in many circles. The gap in quality, talent and skill is too great here.

  • Prediction: Loss
  • Record: 5-4

Week 10 at Carolina Panthers – Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022, 8:15 p.m. ET

The only prime-time game awarded to the Falcons pits them against the Panthers. Last season, these two sides split the series with both teams winning away. The Falcons might be better than the Panthers, but these kinds of divisional rivalries sometimes find their way to a series split.

  • Prediction: Loss
  • Record: 5-5

Week 11 vs Chicago Bears – Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, 1 p.m. ET

Justin Fields is a promising talent, but the Bears have surrounded him with very little talent. This makes it a winnable game for the Falcons.

  • Prediction: Win
  • Record: 6-5
Justin Fields #1 of the Chicago Bears passes against the Minnesota Vikings
Justin Fields – Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images/AFP

Week 12 at Washington Commanders – Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, 1 p.m. ET

Washington beat Atlanta 34-30 thanks to a come-from-behind win that was capped off by a last-gasp touchdown with 33 seconds left on the clock. That result, however, is likely a moot point as both sides underwent quarterback changes in the offseason. Home advantage and a better defense tips the scale toward the hosts.

  • Prediction: Loss
  • Record: 6-6

Week 13 vs Pittsburgh Steelers – Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, 1 p.m. ET

Big Ben might be gone, but Mike Tomlin is still the head coach. Tomlin hasn’t had a losing season in his entire NFL career with the Steelers, so don’t be surprised if that trend continues, regardless of which quarterback – Mitch Trubisky or Kenny Pickett – leads the team. The Steelers’ defense is still formidable.

  • Prediction: Loss
  • Record: 6-7

Week 14 BYE 

Week 15 at New Orleans Saints – Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022, TBD

Jameis Winston and Mariota came out of the 2015 NFL Draft as the No. 1 and No. 2 draft picks, respectively. It’s not without some irony that they’ve taken similar paths – from falling out of favor with the teams that drafted them to a backup stint and then a second chance. The Saints are the better team that is better equipped to win now.

  • Prediction: Loss
  • Record: 6-8

Week 16 at Baltimore Ravens – Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022, 1 p.m. ET

Lamar Jackson is in his contract year. He’ll be out to raise his value if he doesn’t come to terms with the Ravens before the season starts. A loss against the Falcons will not provide good optics for Jackson.

  • Prediction: Loss
  • Record: 6-9

Week 17 vs Arizona Cardinals – Sunday, Jan 1. 2023, 1 p.m. ET

The Cardinals didn’t pay Kyler Murray the big money to lose to a rebuilding team. Exclamation point!

  • Prediction: Loss
  • Record: 6-10

Week 18 vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, TBD

If the Buccaneers are in the playoff mix or mired in a battle for NFC seeding, the Atlanta Falcons might as well roll out the red carpet for them because there’s no way Brady and Co. will be losing this game under those circumstances.

  • Prediction: Loss
  • Record: 6-11

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