Monday Night Football returns to the ATL in 2010

061022 - ATLANTA, GA -- ROETHLISBERGER KNOCKED OUT--Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is knocked out of the game on this hit by Falcons defensive end Patrick Kerney during 3rd quarter action at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Oct. 22, 2006. Roethlisberger may be suspended when the Falcons face the Steelers this season.  (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC staff)

061022 - ATLANTA, GA -- ROETHLISBERGER KNOCKED OUT--Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is knocked out of the game on this hit by Falcons defensive end Patrick Kerney during 3rd quarter action at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Oct. 22, 2006. Roethlisberger may be suspended when the Falcons face the Steelers this season. (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC staff)

UPDATE

BIRDLAND — The league’s premier in-season event, Monday Night Football, returns to Atlanta after a two-year hiatus.

The Falcons’ 2010 schedule is highlighted with two national television appearances, including one outing on Monday Night Football against the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints.

The Falcons will host the Saints at 8:30 p.m. on Mon., Dec. 27 at the Georgia Dome. The game will be televised on ESPN.

The Falcons other nationally televised game will be against the Baltimore Ravens at 8:20 p.m. on Thur., Nov. 11 at the Georgia Dome. The game will be televised by the NFL Network.

The Falcons played on Monday Night Football last season, but the game was in New Orleans. In 2008, the team did not play any prime time games.

The Falcons last played at home on Monday on Dec. 10, 2007 against the Saints. It would be Bobby Petrino’s last game as the head coach, a 34-14 drubbing.

The Falcons have the 20th toughest schedule in the league based on their opponents’ records in 2009 (127-129).

Last season, the Falcons finished 9-7 to post the franchise’s first back-to-back winning seasons. However, the team, which was beset with injuries to key starters in running back Michael Turner and quarterback Matt Ryan, posted only one victory over a team (New York Jets) that finished last season with a winning record.

In 2010, the Falcons will face six non-division opponents – Arizona (10-6), Green Bay (11-5), Baltimore (9-7), Philadelphia (11-5), Cincinnati (10-6) and New England (10-6) — who posted winning records last season.

Here’s a look at the Falcons 2010 Schedule:

Preseason games: Kansas City — 8 p.m. Fri., Aug. 13; New England – 8 p.m., Thur., Aug. 19; At Miami, 7 p.m. Fri., Aug. 27; At Jacksonville – 7:30 p.m., Thur., Sept. 2

THE REGULAR SEASON

The Falcons could see Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford in his rookie season if he's selected, as expected, by the  St. Louis Rams. The Falcons play at St. Louis on Nov. 21.

The Falcons could see Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford in his rookie season if he's selected, as expected, by the St. Louis Rams. The Falcons play at St. Louis on Nov. 21.

AT PITTSBURGH

Date: Sept. 12, 1 p.m.

Last season: 9-7, third in AFC North.

The skinny: Ben Roethlisberger could be suspended, but the Steelers still have Hines Ward.

ARIZONA

Date: Sept. 19, 1 p.m.

Last season: 10-6, first in NFC West.

The skinny: Quarterback Matt Leinart will get his chance to take over for the retired Kurt Warner.

AT NEW ORLEANS

Date: Sept. 26, 1 p.m.

Last season: 13-3, first is NFC South.

The skinny: The Saints had some key losses during free agency.

SAN FRANCISCO

Date: Oct. 3, 1 p.m.

Last season: 8-8, second in NFC West.

The skinny: The 49ers will be seeking revenge from the 45-10 whipping the Falcons put on them last season.

AT CLEVELAND

Date: Oct. 10, 1 p.m.

Last season: 5-11, fourth in AFC North.

The skinny: Tennessee safety Eric Berry, of Creekside High, could land with the Browns.

Ray Lewis and the Baltimore Ravens come to the Georgia Dome for a nationally televised game on Nov. 11. The game will be shown on The NFL Network.

Ray Lewis and the Baltimore Ravens come to the Georgia Dome for a nationally televised game on Nov. 11. The game will be shown on The NFL Network.

AT PHILADELPHIA

Date: Oct. 17, 1 p.m.

Last season: 11-5, second in NFC East.

The skinny: Off to see the Kevin Kolb and Michael Vick show.

CINCINNATI

Date: Oct. 24, 1 p.m.

Last season: 10-6, first in AFC North.

The skinny: The Bengals picked up wide receiver Antonio Bryant in free agency.

BYE WEEK, Oct. 31

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

Date: Nov. 7, 1 p.m.

Last season: 3-13, fourth in NFC South.

The skinny: The Buccaneers will rely on quarterback Josh Freeman from the outset.

BALTIMORE

Date: Thur., Nov. 11, 8:20 p.m. (NFL Network)

Last season: 9-7, second in AFC North.

The skinny: Ray Lewis and Ed Reed continue to lead the defense.

AT ST. LOUIS

Date: Nov. 21, 4:05 p.m.

Last season: 1-15, fourth in NFC West.

The skinny: The Rams are expected to take quarterback Sam Bradford in the draft.

GREEN BAY

Date: Nov. 28, 1 p.m.

Last season: 11-5, second in NFC North.

The skinny: The Packers feature the passing of quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

AT TAMPA BAY

Date: Dec. 5, 1 p.m.

AT CAROLINA

Date: Dec. 12, 1 p.m.

Last season: 8-8, third in NFC South.

The skinny: The Panthers have turned the page on the Jake Delhomme era.

AT SEATTLE

Date: Dec. 19, 1 p.m.

Last season: 5-11, third in the NFC West.

The skinny: Pete Carroll has returned to the NFL.

NEW ORLEANS

Date: Monday, Dec. 27, 8:30 (ESPN)

CAROLINA

Date: Jan. 2, 1 p.m.

ABOUT THE FALCONS SCHEDULE

BYE WEEK BREAKDOWN: The Falcons will have their bye week after playing seven games, one game short of the halfway point of the season.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: The will have to prove their mettle on the road or risk getting off to a bad start in 2010. To open the season, they will play four of their first six games on the road. Under head coach Mike Smith the Falcons are 7-10 on the road, including the wildcard loss in Arizona after the 2008 season.

THROW BACK GAMES: The Falcons will wear their throwback uniforms in two home games. They will make their uniform decisions at a later time.

HOME SWEET HOME: After the bye week, the Falcons will play three of four games at home against Tampa Bay, Baltimore and Green Bay.

156 comments Add your comment

B

April 20th, 2010
7:01 am

First to 11 wins

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 20th, 2010
7:06 am

How many Monday games will the Falcons get? One of the Saints games will be on Monday and maybe the Green Bay game. (Just guessing here).

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Hank Humphrey and D. Orlando Ledbetter, ATLHOMER. ATLHOMER said: Atlanta Falcons – RT NFL to release Falcons’ 2010 schedule today: BIRDLAND — The NFL schedule will be released… http://bit.ly/bwXrqy #AJC [...]

Stan

April 20th, 2010
7:07 am

go birds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

jpage327

April 20th, 2010
7:11 am

Let me guess, the Saints game will be in New Orleans? Big surprise…

Any ideas if we plan on doing the black on black uniforms again, or just doing the throwbacks both times?

Stan

April 20th, 2010
7:14 am

DOL….did the ravens add Dmason….or RESIGN him?

Who cares who's first

April 20th, 2010
7:16 am

Let’s strap ‘em up. I’m ready for the season right now.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 20th, 2010
7:24 am

Stan — D Mason re-signed with the Raves.

jpage327 — They will wear throwbacks in two games. Don’t know about the black on black. I like the black on black. The oldtimers seem to hate the black on black.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tom Adkins and Darryl Ledbetter, D. Orlando Ledbetter. D. Orlando Ledbetter said: FALCONS schedule to be released today. Take a look at their opponents in 2010. http://bit.ly/avHVhq [...]

The Real Falcon

April 20th, 2010
7:44 am

Really tough schedule. Start with 6 pretty easy and the rest will be well fought slobber-knockers!
GO BIRDS!

collegedude

April 20th, 2010
7:50 am

Falcon fans, come meet & have lunch with 3 Falcon’s legends & support a local charity at the same time. Jeff Van Note, Jessie Tuggle, & Buddy Curry will be there and have a Q&A session with those in attendence. Check it out here: http://www.falconnationcharities.org/lunchwithlegends.html

Brian F.

April 20th, 2010
7:57 am

RGO67

April 20th, 2010
7:59 am

I smell a 10 win season or better!!

RGO67

April 20th, 2010
8:01 am

Brian F. I am with ya, all Dirty Birds think the same!

IceFan

April 20th, 2010
8:39 am

11-5…………10-6 at worst

This is the year to take it to the next level. Just like every team every year it all depends on health. We are due for another healthy year after last year’s injury pileup.

Defense will be improved, so it’s up to Matty Ice to take HIS game to the next level and become an elite QB.

SHO-NUFF

April 20th, 2010
8:43 am

I hope Ben Rothenswhatever is under suspension when the Falcons play Pittsburgh, but I think they can beat the Steelers either way.

SHO-NUFF

April 20th, 2010
8:48 am

Atlanta will be 11-5, maybe 12-4. They will beat the Saints both games in 2010, if they can get some pass rush and the O-line can stay healthy, and give the QB just a little more time.

SHO-NUFF

April 20th, 2010
8:48 am

Enter your comments here

SHO-NUFF

April 20th, 2010
8:54 am

Just hope the NFL doesn’t stick them with a schedule like 2009, facing 4 teams coming off their bye-weeks. I believe that lead to many of their injuries.
But, it would be real nice to see the NFL give the Saints a schedule like that in 2010.

JP

April 20th, 2010
9:02 am

Who’s the master!?!

Bangkapi Ajarn

April 20th, 2010
9:50 am

Thinking the first 4 (or whatever) teams on Pittsburgh’s schedule will rejoice at potentially dodging Rothlesberger!

Also thinking the first 4 (or whatever) teams on the Falcons schedule will rejoice if they have a run first offense, they will dodge Babs.

**Frederick(Bailey)Douglass**

April 20th, 2010
9:54 am

This is a much easier list of opponents than last year. None of these games are no-brainer losses. The only games that I would “mildly accept” a loss are:

at NO
at PITT

The Falcons, if healthy, could easily go 13-3, 12-4. This is the year to believe that we have a shot to go the distance. Defense will be loaded with Moore (SS-HITMAN) coming back, veteran CB in Robinson, new rookie DE (Graham)/rookine LB (Spoon), Abe reloaded with Jerry back, linebackers headhunting with Lofton in the middle, the BEST D-Lineman in the game (Babs) and one of the best up and coming FSs in the league (DeCoud).

Just a word on DeCoud…DOL, check the film out on this guy last year. I’ve been looking and he had about 6-7 plays where he literally knocked the other teams RB OUT OF THE GAME. The guy looks kinds scrawny, but man can he hit. Get a healthy, productive Moore in with him and you just might have something. Really.

We should be more than stout on defense in 2010. Our season comes down to this: teams will do two things to stop the birds. (1) crowd the line of scrimmage to stop the potent run attack. The Falcons will be forced to go down the field with the pass and hit “spots” all over the field. To slow this…teams will (2) roll the coverage to Roddy and drop a LB to an intermediate zone to bracket Tony G. Will the Ryan/Jenkins connection be strong enough to get us through?

FBD

Linkinpro

April 20th, 2010
10:32 am

I heard some rumors that the Falcons may be on the Thursday opener at New Orleans…. That would be a dynamic way to kickoff our Superbowl Run Season!!!!!!!!!! Dirty Birds 4 Life…

VP

April 20th, 2010
10:34 am

When will the league stop making the Falcons the sacrificial lambs for the Saints on Monday nights? I just don’t want the Falcons to be playing the Thursday night opener in that town when they unleash the super bowl banner.

Sid

April 20th, 2010
10:51 am

I am looking forward to the Ravens game, time for a showdown between Ryan and Flacco. I’m telling you, Flacco will not put up meaningful numbers. With Boldin in the mix I think you’ll see Flacco’s interceptions soar. I love this schedule, they split with New Orleans, take both from the Bucs and Panthers, they will take Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Seattle, and Philadelphia. Just as much as the Eagles game is a pay back game so is San Francisco for the 49er’s, we take one on the chin there. I am saying…………………14-2………………you Dirty Birds!!

kerryb

April 20th, 2010
10:52 am

I would’nt be surprised if that Ravens game is on Monday or Sunday night. Ryan vs Flacco sounds like a prime time game.

SHO-NUFF

April 20th, 2010
10:56 am

The Saints got the victory against the Falcons last year on Sunday night,

due to a brilliant performance by their QB and his recievers, luck, and a lot of bad calls and non-calls by the Men IN Stripes, all of them in NO’s favor. And even then they had to play their a$$e’s off, as the game went down to the wire. They had a lot of help from the Ref’s in the second game with the Falcons and barely won, even with the Falcons using their 2nd QB and RB.
The Falcons will beat the Saints 2 times in 2010.

Slinger

April 20th, 2010
10:56 am

My guess is that we get Green Bay here on a Monday night….we play N O on a Saturday on NFL network in December and we play @ Philly or Pitt on a Sunday night….

kerryb

April 20th, 2010
10:57 am

Frederick, why would you think that the NO game would be an acceptable loss? The Falcons should’nt have lost to them last year. Would have beaten them in the Superdome if not for a tipped ball interception at the end of the game. Only lost to them in ATL because Ryan and Turner was’nt playing. Even came close to beating them with Redman starting. I expect at least one maybe two wins against them. We are just as good or better than them.

SHO-NUFF

April 20th, 2010
11:04 am

The Saints will be a chanting, –WHO DAT, WHO DAT, WHO DAT WAS, THAT STOMPED OUR A$$’s– twice after the BIRDS get through with them in 2010!

—————— GO FALCONS!!!!!!!! —–=————

Josh B

April 20th, 2010
11:04 am

This schedule looks much easier than last year, and we should sweep the Bucs and the Panthers and get either one or both games against the Saints. Even the hardest game (against the Steelers) looks really beatable since they’ll most likely have a different quarterback playing. I can’t wait to see the Ravens game though, been waiting for Ryan vs Flacco for a while.

David

April 20th, 2010
11:17 am

I agree we really should have won both games against the Saints. Looking for payback this year. Ryan should move on from a sophmore season and be much better, but the play calling has to improve. Much to predictable last year. Need to stretch the field more and mix it up with more underneath stuff. Get Roddy downtown more and open up underneath for Tony G.

SCAR Fan

April 20th, 2010
11:22 am

I like it SHO-NUFF!! I feel a 12-4 on the horizon. GO FALCONS!!!!

falconfan1124

April 20th, 2010
11:22 am

13-3 LOSSES TO BALTIMORE, NEW ORLEANS (1 GAME), AND Philly

**Frederick(Bailey)Douglass**

April 20th, 2010
11:25 am

@kerryb

I hope that you are right!

south ga boy in the ATL

April 20th, 2010
11:26 am

Whatzup DOL, Cant wait to see the sched later today. Hope we dont start off with N.O. away on thursday night. Say Mr. Pouncey… uh I mean Mr. Ledbetter (lol) Are there any whispers about a trade to get us in the 2nd round or if it happens will it be when we are on the clock. What’s the scoop ?

BigTimeTECHFan

April 20th, 2010
11:26 am

Frederick(Bailey)Douglass

Man you got me fired up to see some football. It’s to early for that kind of talk.

Growin'Samoan

April 20th, 2010
11:28 am

Brutal schedule. 10-6 would be playing well. Mon NO, Sat- Pit, Sun nite – GB…or not. (Ryan v Flacco is intriguing…but not as much as 3 double meat burritos….later…

Wilson Faumuina

Scott Case

April 20th, 2010
11:43 am

Falcons schedule rated #20 difficulty
Saints schedule rated #27 difficulty
- based on NFL.com, combined opposing teams records..

how does the Super Bowl Champ have one of the easiest schedules in the league??? Consiperacy??

dean

April 20th, 2010
11:43 am

Do we ALWAYS play the Steelers in Pittsburgh? Sure seems that way, and no time to Look It Up.

**Frederick(Bailey)Douglass**

April 20th, 2010
11:44 am

@BigTimeTECHFan

I hear you…I got a little overexcited with the schedule coming out tonight and the draft on Thursday. Whe you take a step back, you really notice how LOADED we are.

What if Harry Douglas comes back completely healthy and in 2008 form?

WW

April 20th, 2010
11:46 am

Rough schedule…brrrrr.

rebeldawg

April 20th, 2010
11:49 am

jpage327: The Saints game will be in NO and ATL. You do realize we play our division opponents home and away each year right? At least I hope you do. And as for the Saints I hope we do play them when they unviel their SB Banner. No better way to start the season by smacking that taste right out of their mouths and breaking their spirits on our way to a ROUT!!!

grime

April 20th, 2010
11:52 am

Minnesota vs New Orleans is the NFL opener fot this year. NFC Championship re-match through a source..

JIm Mora, Jr.

April 20th, 2010
12:05 pm

No matter what!

We get a winning record for the 3rd year in a row.
A playoff birth then it is on like Donkey Kong.

SuperBowl baby!

The defense is going to be stout…just think all those picks last year are healthy now and we added a piece, going to add some through the draft and BAM!

Superbowl bound!

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 20th, 2010
12:20 pm

FBD — I’m with you on DeCoud. He can put the wood on folks. He’s a big hitter.

See you all are all fired up for the schedule. I came into our new offices today to hunker down here for the long haul today. I don’t think they are going to give the Falcons the third Thursday nigh opener in N.O. I’m expected at least two Monday Night games and perhaps another Sunday night prime time game.

Greene Hornet

April 20th, 2010
12:21 pm

About the throwback uniforms- I wish instead of the throwbacks, the Falcons would go with their current logo, but on a red helmet. I think that would look sharp for a game or so.

Anyway, Falcons are set up for a decent season. Let’s keep everyone healthy and get some fans in the stands to help the Falcons go all the way! Go Birds!!!

Falcon Devil

April 20th, 2010
12:30 pm

I live in Seattle and will be rep’n my Matty Ice #2 jersey and laughing as we cream the Seachickens… I will prob get beat up but it will be worth it!!! To be honest though Qwest field is soooo much sweeter than the GA dome. They should build a new stadium at the old GM plant in Doraville.

Chris

April 20th, 2010
12:49 pm

I’m guessing a Flacco vs. Ryan Monday night game is in store. Or at least Sunday Night.

Threadkiller

April 20th, 2010
12:51 pm

I come up with 10-6! Five weeks in a row on the road! Brutal!