Falcons Accomplish Feat Not Seen Since 1991

Falcons Accomplish Feat Not Seen Since 1991

Jay Adams

Published April 23, 2012 at 12:17 PM

When the Falcons’ 2012 regular season schedule came out last week, there were a lot of question marks surrounding it.

How would they handle a tough back end of the season? Will they fold or flourish under the pressure of four primetime games? How in the world did they end up with no back-to-back home or away games?

The latter is perhaps the most interesting question, for now, at least. And we can certainly address it with a little bit of history at this point.

The Falcons’ schedule has a away-home-away-home pattern that is tough to miss. And rare. Very rare, in fact.

That the Falcons won’t be playing any back-to-back games at home or on the road this year puts them in a category no NFL team has fallen in since Tampa Bay in 1991, we found out from our friends at the Elias Sports Bureau. That was the last time any team in the league had a schedule with the pattern.

During that season, the Bucs went 3-13. They also had their bye week during Week 7, similar to where it falls on the Falcons’ slate this year.

Perhaps more odd than the schedule itself or that it’s happened before is that it’s happened before to the Falcons. Atlanta had no back-to-back home or away games in 1985 (photo from that season above). They went 4-12.

History is really no indication of how the Falcons will handle the schedule — and honestly, there are way too many variables to determine that the schedule played any part in the Falcons going 4-12 in 1985 and the Bucs posting a 3-13 record in 1991 — but it is important to note that head coach Mike Smith is a huge fan of routine.

And I defy you to show me a schedule more conducive to routine than what the Falcons will face in 2012.

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