The 2011 Atlanta Falcons schedule looks to be a promising one, and not just because of that cold-weather thing. Atlanta doesn't draw a single team coming off its bye, two years after playing multiple teams with extra time to prepare, a grievance that has driven our Philadelphia Eagles community through the roof. That's a pretty great setup.
The Falcons' bye comes in Week 8 before their road trip to play the Indianapolis Colts. That should be one of the four or five toughest games of the season -- plus the bye is right in the middle of the year -- so it's about as good a deal as Atlanta could get.
As far as short weeks go, the Falcons only have two. They play the Panthers in Carolina on Dec. 11, then host the Jaguars on Dec. 15. Charlotte's pretty darn close to Atlanta, so, again, this is about as good a short week as one could ask for. Especially since Atlanta's next game isn't until Dec. 26, giving them almost another bye. The other short week is after that Week 16 Monday Night Football game. Nothing to complain about.
The bad part about that Week 17 game against the Bucs? Tampa Bay will have two extra days to prepare, as they're playing on Saturday in Week 16. Other than that, though, Atlanta's opponents don't have any short or long weeks before playing the Falcons.