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D. Orlando LedbetterD. Orlando Ledbetter

5 things to know about the Falcons’ 2014 schedule

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Matt Ryan is sacked by Akiem Hicks, one of three New Orleans sacks in last season's opener at the Superdome. (Bill Haber / Associated Press)

Matt Ryan is sacked by Akiem Hicks, one of three New Orleans sacks in last season’s opener at the Superdome. (Bill Haber / Associated Press)

FLOWERY BRANCH — The NFL released the Falcons’ 2014 schedule on Wednesday.

Here’s our quickie analysis. Check back later for more in depth coverage of the schedule.

1. Falcons open against Saints in rematch of Vaccaro-Gate game.

2. Only two nationally televised games. (Thurs vs. Tampa Bay and MNF at Packers)

3. Falcons play outdoors in Minnesota in September.

4. Bye Week is exactly at the halfway point.

5. Last quarter of the season is pretty rugged with games against Green Bay, Pittsburgh, New Orleans and Carolina.

EXHIBITION SEASON

7 p.m., Aug. 8, Friday — vs. Miami

8 p.m., Aug. 16, Saturday — at Houston

7 p.m., Aug. 23, Saturday – vs. Tennessee

6 p.m., Aug. 28, Thursday – at Jacksonville

REGULAR SEASON 

1 p.m., Sept. 7, Sunday — New Orleans

1 p.m., Sept. 14, Sunday – at Cincinnati

8:25 p.m., Sept. 18, Thursday – vs. Tampa Bay (CBS)

4:25 p.m., Sept. 28, Sunday – at Minnesota

1 p.m., Oct. 5, Sunday – at New York Giants  

1 p.m., Oct. 12, Sunday – vs. Chicago

1 p.m., Oct. 19, Sunday — at Baltimore

9:30 a.m., Oct. 26, Sunday  — vs. Detroit at London

Sunday Nov. 2 – BYE WEEK

1 p.m., Nov. 9, Sunday – at Tampa Bay

1 p.m., Nov. 16, Sunday – at Carolina

1 p.m., Nov. 23, Sunday — vs. Cleveland

4:05 p.m., Nov. 30, Sunday – vs. Arizona

8:30 p.m., Dec. 8, Monday – at Green Bay (MNF – ESPN)

1 p.m., Dec. 14, Sunday – vs. Pittsburgh

1 p.m., Dec. 21, Sunday – at New Orleans Saints

1 p.m., Dec. 28, Sunday– vs. Carolina

FALCONS’ DRAFT BOARD

–A look at Louisville LB Preston Brown

–A look at Iowa TE C.J. Fiedorowicz

–A look at Texas OLB/DE Jackson Jeffcoat

–A look at West Virginia RB Charles Sims

–A look at Auburn DE Dee Ford

–A look at Brigham Young OLB Kyle Van Noy

–A look at Arizona State OLB/DE Carl Bradford

--A look at Missouri DE Kony Ealy

–A look at Texas Tech TE Jace Amaro

–A look at Alabama S Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix

–A look at Minnesota DT Ra’Shede Hageman

–A look at Buffalo LB Khalil Mack

–BLOG: A list of the confirmed players at LOCALS DAY on Tuesday

–BLOG: FSU linebacker Telvin Smith visited the Falcons on Monday

–Falcons check out Towson State RB Terrance West, CB Jordan Love (UGA transfer)

–MyAJC ($): Eye-test vs. Tape-measure test: Falcons must trust their eyes during draft prep. 

FALCONS REWIND

–Blog: Falcons are not switching to a 3-4 defense front, they’ve been using it for past 2 seasons

–Blog: New jersey numbers picked; Devin Hester to wear No. 17

–Blog: Falcons awarded three compensatory picks

–Blog: Lamar Holmes was a performance-pay leader in 2014

–Blog: Umenyiora will return in 2014, no restructured deal

–Blog: Falcons release FB Bradie Ewing

–Blog: Falcons WR Roddy White owes Mercer fan some prime tickets

–Blog: Falcons owner Arthur Blank engaged to be married.  

–Blog: Former Falcons WR Kevin Cone to work out for Carolina

–Blog: Falcons re-sign defensive tackle Peria Jerry

–Blog: NFL to move forward on cleaning up ‘on-field’ language

MEET THE FREE AGENT SIGNEES

–MyAJC ($): Falcons spend $80 million in free agency to buy toughness

–Las Vegas doesn’t like Falcons’ free agency moves

–Falcons Free Agency Tracker — Falcons have committed $107.36 million to salaries 

–Q&A with PR/KR/WR Devin Hester

–Q&A with Falcons right guard Jon Asamoah

–Q&A with Falcons defensive end Tyson Jackson

–Q&A with Falcons defensive tackle Paul Soliai

2014 NFL DRAFT CENTRAL

–Mock Draft 1.0: Falcons trade out of sixth spot to land Pryor and Ebron

–12 teams who could draft UGA star Aaron Murray

–Louisville LB Preston Brown to work out for the Falcons

–Louisville DE Marcus Smith to work out for the Falcons

–MyAJC ($): OT Greg Robinson, DE Dee Ford shine at Auburn’s Pro Day

–VIDEO: Tackle Greg Robinson on Auburn’s Pro Day

–VIDEO: Running back Tra Mason on Auburn’s Pro Day

–Blog & VIDEO: Clemson QB Tajh Boyd has stellar Pro Day showing

–VIDEO: Clemson WR Sammy Watkins on his Pro Day

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