Every year there are those matchups that make fans' eyes light up. The problem is those games are very limited. The games are also only talked about if they have national appeal. Well as great as some of the games that are being highlighted will be, I would like to explain the top five most interesting games for the Falcons in 2009.
5. Week 1 Miami Dolphins @ Atlanta Falcons
These two teams are truly in the same boat. Last season both where expected to fail miserably, but instead of failing these two teams thrived. Both of these teams made the playoffs in 2008 only one year removed from picking first and third in the 2008 NFL Draft.
Not only are both these teams on the rise, but there is added incentive for the Falcons. For any Falcon fan, one of the only bright spots of 2007 was when we were told that Bill Parcells would be our GM. Only to have him turn it down soon after.
Prediction: Falcons jump out to an early lead with the running game and pick up an easy win. Score 28-14 Falcons
4. Week 13 Philadelphia Eagles @ Atlanta Falcons
This game has actually occurred quite a bit for two non divisional opponents. Over the past few years the Eagles have had the advantage in this matchup including last season. This game probably has the most meaning for Matt Ryan who grew up near Philadelphia and was an Eagles fan. Then when you also add in the time this game will be played in the season, these teams could be jockeying for playoff spots this game gets even more important.
Prediction: This will be an old fashioned shoot out with both quarterbacks performing at their best, but in the end the Eagles defense will be the difference and the Eagles will squeak out a win. 35-28 Eagles
3. Week 3 Atlanta Falcons @ New England Patriots
Arguably the best quarterback in the NFL going against arguably the best young quarterback in the NFL. Ryan will get a chance to show the NFL that he can hang with the big dogs in the NFL. This game is only ahead of the Philly and Miami for the fact that it will be an extremely entertaining game. This will also put the Falcons against one of the best teams in the NFL
Prediction: Michael Turner is going to have a field day against the Patriots. I see the Falcons leaning on Turner throughout the game and after all of the hype and comparisons between Ryan and Brady, Turner will really be the star. 21-13 Falcons
2. Week 7 Chicago Bears @ Atlanta Falcons
The Bears are going to be looking for revenge after what happened last year when the Falcons stunned them with a last second field goal to win it. The Bears still have one of the better defenses in the NFL and with Jay Cutler this will not be the same matchup it was last season.
This game will be important for both teams, because it is towards middle of the season where most elite teams break away. Who knows where these teams will stand at that time, but one thing for certain is that this game will more then likely have an impact on the NFC playoffs.
Prediction: I see the Falcons playing extremely physical in this game and grinding out a win. This may not be as close as last year, but this game will come down to the wire. 21-20 Falcons
1. Week 8 Atlanta Falcons @ New Orleans Saints
This is one of the most important games of the season for the Falcons. The Saints are projected as being the best team in the NFC South and respectably so. Their offense is off the charts and with the new names they have added on defense, the Saints will be a threat.
The Falcons would more then likely be in position to lead the division if they can win this game. Probably the most important part of this game though is that it is a Monday Night Football Game. This game is a chance for the young Falcons to prove themselves on Primetime.
Prediction: This game will be a score-a-thon. I am talking there is a chance both quarterbacks could throw over 300 yards easily. Of course if the defenses' step up—both the Falcons and Saints made to their defenses stronger in the offseason—I will be wrong. I however do not see that happening. 35-28 Falcons