Breaking Down the Atlanta Falcons' 2012 NFL Preseason Schedule

Knox Bardeen@knoxbardeenNFC South Lead WriterApril 4, 2012

The Atlanta Falcons will play two home games and then two road games during the 2012 NFL preseason. The league released the preseason schedule on Wednesday, but hasn't finalized all of the dates yet.

Atlanta does get at least one nationally-televised, prime-time game: an Aug. 16 matchup against the Bengals.

The Falcons will play host to two NFC North foes and then tour the state of Florida for the second half of the preseason schedule.

Week 1 - Baltimore, TBA

Week 2 - Cincinnati, Aug. 16, 8 p.m. ET (FOX)

Week 3 - at Miami, TBA

Week 4 - at Jacksonville, TBA

 

What to Watch For

It's always a heated debate when Falcons fans and Ravens fans discuss Matt Ryan versus Joe Flacco. The two quarterbacks were drafted in the same draft class in the first round. Ryan's numbers are slightly better, but Flacco has tasted postseason success.

The Thursday night game on FOX will give everyone a look at the Bengals' young guns, quarterback Andy Dalton and wide receiver A.J. Green. This will be a good time to see if the Falcons have shored up their secondary in the draft.

Miami used to be home to new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan. Now Nolan is with the Falcons and we'll get to see how his homecoming goes.

There are two big storylines in the Week 4 Jacksonville game. The Jaguars are now run by new head coach Mike Mularkey, who was the offensive coordinator in Atlanta last season. Atlanta's new offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter was Jacksonville's offensive coordinator last year.

Do I need to mention that Atlanta head coach Mike Smith used to be a coordinator in Jacksonville?

Playing Jacksonville in the preseason is nothing new for the Falcons. But there are familiar faces in new places this time around.


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