Atlanta Falcons 2022 Schedule: Dates, Times, & Analysis

The Atlanta Falcons enter the upcoming campaign in full-on rebuild mode. Gone is franchise legend quarterback Matt Ryan, who the Falcons dealt to the Indianapolis Colts following their failed pursuit of then Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson.

Replacing Ryan is former No. 2 overall pick Marcus Mariota. Despite his experience with head coach Arthur Smith’s system, Mariota is widely expected to serve as a bridge to rookie signal caller Desmond Ridder – the Falcons’ fourth-round selection in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Atlanta does have some intriguing young pieces in sophomore tight end Kyle Pitts and 2022 first-round wideout Drake London. Pitts is coming off an excellent first season in which he became only the second rookie tight end to top 1,000 yards receiving. Meanwhile, London is expected to serve as the Falcons’ No.1 wide receiver following Calvin Ridley’s year-long suspension for betting on games during the 2021 campaign. 

Defensively, the Falcons are highlighted by star cornerback A.J. Terrell and Pro Bowl defensive tackle Grady Jarrett. Atlanta’s brass also attempted to improve its linebacking corps, drafting Arnold Ebiketie in the second round of this year’s draft, and signing Rashaan Evans, formerly of the Tennessee Titans, to a one-year deal in free agency.

With an over/under win total of just 4.5, the Falcons are expected to be one of the worst teams in football. This year is about Atlanta’s young core gaining valuable NFL experience and building what will hopefully be a successful future for the organization.

As the Falcons embark on their rebuild, here is what lies ahead for the team in 2022.

Week 1 vs. New Orleans

Date: Sunday, September 11
Time: 
1:00 p.m. ET

The Falcons kick things off at home against their NFC South rival. These teams split their two meetings last season.

Week 2 @ Los Angeles Rams

Date: Sunday, September 18
Time: 
4:05 p.m.

Atlanta battles the defending Super Bowl champions on the road in perhaps the toughest game on the Falcons’ schedule. 

Week 3 @ Seattle Seahawks

Date: Sunday, September 25
Time: 
4:25 p.m. ET

A winnable road game against another rebuilding squad in the Seattle Seahawks, who will likely have Geno Smith or Drew Lock at the helm.

Week 4 vs. Cleveland Browns

Date: Sunday, October 2
Time:
1:00 p.m. ET

The Falcons return home for a date with the Browns, who could have backup QB Jacoby Brissett running the offense as starter Deshaun Watson awaits a possible suspension.

Week 5 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Date: Sunday, October 9
Time:
 1:00 p.m. ET

The first of three straight games against teams that qualified for last year’s postseason. Atlanta has yet to defeat Bucs QB Tom Brady in his illustrious career.

Week 6 vs. San Francisco 49ers

Date: Sunday, October 16 
Time: 
1:00 p.m. ET

Former Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan makes his first return to Atlanta since being hired as 49ers head coach in 2017. Shanahan’s questionable play calling in the second half of Super Bowl LI will forever live in Falcons’ lore. How he’s received will be worth watching.

Week 7 @ Cincinnati Bengals

Date: Sunday, October 23
Time: 1:00 p.m. ET

Marcus Mariota and Company travel to Cincy to take on Joe Burrow and the reigning AFC Champion Bengals.

Week 8 vs. Carolina Panthers

Date: Sunday, October 30
Time: 
1:00 p.m. ET

These NFC South rivals split their two meetings last season.

Week 9 vs. Los Angeles Chargers

Date: Sunday, November 6
Time: 
1:00 p.m. 

The Falcons welcome an explosive Chargers team that will be fresh off a bye. Adding potential insult to injury, Atlanta’s poor offensive line will have to contend with star edge rushers Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa. 

Week 10 @ Carolina Panthers

Date: Thursday, November 10
Time:
8:15 p.m. ET

It’s a short week for the Falcons, who travel to Carolina for the lone primetime showcase for both clubs.

Week 11 vs. Chicago Bears

Date: Sunday, November 20
Time: 
1:00 p.m. ET

A mid-to-late season matchup against one of the league’s worst rosters could be when Falcons fans witness quarterback Desmond Ridder’s debut.

Week 12 @ Washington Commanders

Date: Sunday, November 27
Time: 
1:00 p.m. ET

Atlanta fell to the Commanders 34-30 last season in a high-scoring affair. A similar defense-optional matchup could again be in the cards.

Week 13 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers 

Date: Sunday, December 4
Time:
1:00 p.m. ET

The Falcons head into their much-prolonged Bye Week following a matchup against the new-look Pittsburgh Steelers, who will likely be starting rookie signal caller Kenny Pickett by this point in the season.

Week 14 BYE

Week 15 @ New Orleans Saints

Date: TBD
Time:
TBD

Head coach Arthur Smith will have had two full weeks to prepare for Week 15’s rematch with the New Orleans Saints. Potentially on the hot seat at this stage, the pressure will be on Smith to have his team ready to go.

Week 16 @ Baltimore Ravens 

Date: Sunday, December 24
Time: 
1:00 p.m. ET

The Dirty Birds could experience their own “Nightmare Before Christmas” as they try to slow down Baltimore Ravens star quarterback Lamar Jackson in Atlanta’s final road game.

Week 17 vs. Arizona Cardinals

Date: Sunday, January 1
Time: 
1:00 p.m. ET

Atlanta rings in the New Year with a late-season tilt against the Arizona Cardinals. Expected to contend for the postseason, the Cardinals played some of their worst football down the stretch in 2021. The Falcons could be poised to pull off an upset if a similar situation arises this year.

Week 18 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Date: TBD
Time:
TBD

Atlanta’s regular season comes to a close against a Bucs team that could be in a position to rest its starters in preparation for the postseason.