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Atlanta Falcons 2011 Schedule Highlights: Packers Rematch, Michael Vick's Return, Prime Time Games

Now that the complete 2011 Atlanta Falcons schedule has been released, it's time to take a look at how this thing shakes down. We already knew about each of these opponents and locations, but seeing it all displayed week-by-week makes it easier to break down.

The biggest highlight, for me, is the potential lack of cold weather whatsoever. The Birds play in Chicago in early Sept. and in Seattle in early Oct. Other than that, in Charlotte in early Dec. is the only possible cold weather game. How excellent is that? Few NFL teams are as cold-weather-averse as the Falcons, and the team might be able to avoid it entirely.

The most anticipated matchups are going to be Atlanta's chance at Dome redemption (stupid word) against the Packers, a team the squad split their 2010 season with. That's one way of looking at it. A great way of looking at it!

Michael Vick will also probably play his first game as a starter against the Falcons. Remember he was a novelty during Philly's last game in Atlanta, and was injured when the Falcons played in Philadelphia last season.

There's also the matter of those four (4) prime time games, a very healthy supply for a team that got blasted out of the playoffs and conducts the NFL's most thuddy and ploddy offense. Those Packers and Eagles games will be Sunday nighters, while the Birds will host the Jaguars (?) on a Thursday night and head to play the New Orleans Saints on the Monday night after Christmas. Much more on that last one in the morning.

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Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.