When the Falcons open Mercedes-Benz Stadium for the 2017 regular season, it will be against the last opponent to compete inside the Georgia Dome. And they’ll do so in front of a national audience.
On Thursday, with the release of the NFL schedule, the league announced the first official game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium will take place Sept. 17 on Sunday Night Football against the Green Bay Packers.
This, of course, will be a rematch of January’s NFC Championship Game, which the Falcons won 44-21 to claim their second conference title in franchise history. That battle occurred less than three months after Atlanta took down Green Bay 33-32 for its fifth win of 2016.
Overall, the Falcons are 15-17 against the Packers since their inception in 1966. Atlanta has taken five of the last 10 contests against the NFC North foe, including two of their last three playoff tilts — one of which was Green Bay’s first postseason defeat at Lambeau Field.
Like the previous two times they met, a pair of football’s best offenses are set to clash when reigning MVP Matt Ryan and Pro Bowler Aaron Rodgers lead their respective teams. The Falcons had the highest-scoring offense in 2016, while the Packers ranked fourth in that category.