With the release of all 32 NFL teams' schedules, teams like the Atlanta Falcons now know their path for the upcoming season.

Based on projected win totals, the Falcons have the easiest schedule in 2024, according to Sharp Football Analysis. But the Dirty Birds still have to go out and prove they can win, which is something they haven't done in a while. The last time Atlanta had a winning season was back in 2017. In the last three seasons, they've ended the year with 7-10 records. That, of course, is what ultimately led to previous head coach Arthur Smith's firing.

Now it's up to a somewhat familiar face in Raheem Morris, who takes over for Smith. Morris was previously the defensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Rams but before that spent time in Atlanta in the same position.

Morris isn't the only new addition to the Falcons, though. There's also veteran quarterback Kirk Cousins. The signing of Cousins immediately put the team in a different category, giving them a proven signal-caller for the first time since Matt Ryan. Many now have the Falcons not just as a sleeper team but one that should, without question, make the playoffs for the first time in seven years.

However, even though the team may have the “easiest” schedule in the NFL, nothing is truly easy in this league. The Falcons will have to go out and earn victories week in and week out. As talented as the 2024 roster is, there are still some major pitfalls in this year's schedule that could cause some problems getting back to the postseason.

Falcons' scariest pitfall in 2024 schedule

Last season, the Falcons had the luxury of starting off with their division rival, the Carolina Panthers. They were a team coming off a 7-10 season, just like the Falcons. But Atlanta was about to give them their start to a 2-15 campaign.

The schedule makers thought differently for the Falcons this year. In Week 1 of the 2024 season, the Falcons will host the Pittsburgh Steelers. But that's not all; they hit the road the following week for their first Monday Night Football game since 2020 when they face the Philadelphia Eagles. Then, it's back home for another prime-time game against the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday Night Football.

All three of those teams made playoffs last year. In 2023, the Falcons didn't face a playoff team until Week 4 when the Jacksonville Jaguars came to town. This year, they'll have to wait until the fourth week not to play a playoff team.

The Falcons' first three games have their own unique challenges

May 10, 2024; Flowery Branch, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons head coach Raheem Morris is interviewed before the start of Rookie Minicamp at the Falcons Training Camp.
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

What makes this three-game stretch even more challenging are the storylines behind them. First and foremost, this will be Morris and the new staff's first few games coaching this team. It will also presumably be Cousins' first games under center as the Falcons' quarterback. Then, starting with the first game against the Steelers, Smith will be making his return to Atlanta as Pittsburgh's offensive coordinator.

To make matters awkward, one would have to assume that Morris and new defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake will have to go over film from last year's Falcons offense to prepare for the opener. Don't forget this will also be Russell Wilson's first appearance in a Steelers uniform.

In the second game, the Falcons travel to a place they haven't won at since 2012. It's also the venue where they made their last playoff appearance. They'll face what has been one of the better teams in the NFC over the last two years, yet with two new coordinators on staff. Add to that it will be Cousins in prime-time, a spot he has struggled in, and the Falcons start on an uphill battle before the game even starts.

Last but not least is the Chiefs at home. This will actually be the Chiefs' and Patrick Mahomes' first regular-season appearance at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Perhaps that was just one reason this was made a Sunday Night Football broadcast in prime-time. This will be back-to-back weeks in prime-time for Atlanta. They've played in just two over the last three years, going 0-2 in those games, according to ESPN.

The Falcons schedule gets easier on the backend

This is a very front-loaded schedule for Atlanta and one that could present some major challenges for Morris and Cousins as they begin their Falcons careers. Going 1-2 or even 0-3 is a real possibility. Only six teams in NFL history have made the playoffs starting 0-3.

But if the Falcons can take a large portion of their hits early, the schedule does get easier. Starting in Week 10, Atlanta doesn't play a single playoff team from last season. They also have a good shot at playing three rookie quarterbacks.