ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Falcons are opening the 2010 season at Pittsburgh.
They may soon learn if they'll be facing Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the Sept. 12 opener. Roethlisberger is facing a possible suspension from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for personal-conduct violations that most recently included an allegation he sexually assaulted a 20-year-old college student in a Georgia nightclub last month.
Roethlisberger does not face criminal charges in the alleged incident.
The Falcons will face the Arizona Cardinals in their Sept. 19 home opener at the Georgia Dome, followed by a visit to New Orleans on Sept. 26 in their first NFC South game.
The Falcons' bye week is Week 8 on Oct. 31.
The Falcons are coming off back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in franchise history. They will be trying for their second playoff season in three years. They finished 9-7 in 2009 but missed the playoffs.
The schedule includes two prime-time home games.
The Falcons will play Baltimore in a Thursday night game on Nov. 11. The kickoff in the game to be televised by the NFL Network is set for 8:20 p.m.
The schedule includes a Monday night home game against New Orleans on Dec. 27, to be televised by ESPN.
Falcons coach Mike Smith said the schedule is demanding.
''However, we are excited to take on the challenge,'' Smith said. ''We'll be tested right out of the gate with a road meeting at Pittsburgh followed by a home contest against Arizona and a trip to New Orleans. I'm looking forward to the Georgia Dome atmosphere with our two prime-time games against Baltimore and New Orleans as well.''
The Falcons will close the regular season with a home game against Carolina on Jan. 2.
The home schedule also includes games against San Francisco on Oct. 3, Cincinnati on Oct. 24, Tampa Bay on Nov. 7 and Green Bay on Nov. 28.
The Falcons will play other road games out of their division at Cleveland on Oct. 10, Philadelphia on Oct. 17, St. Louis on Nov. 21 and Seattle on Dec. 19.