49ers the team to beat in NFC, says Falcons’ Kirk Cousins

NFL: OCT 30 49ers at Rams

Coming into the offseason, it was hard to form accurate expectations for the Falcons without a quarterback.

A rookie, Justin Fields, or a stopgap veteran would lower Atlanta’s realistic chances of ending their postseason drought. However, with Kirk Cousins in the fold, the Falcons went out and got the best possible option to fill the void, and expectations reflect that.

At a minimum, Arthur Blank is surely expecting a playoff berth. It would mark the first time since 2017 that his team would be in the postseason, and honestly, Blank is probably expecting a home playoff game, which would be the first since 2016 and the first ever in Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The Falcons, with Kirk Cousins, have a good shot at having some success in the postseason because the conference is wide open. Outside of the NFC South, the conference has few proven winners and even fewer true Super Bowl contenders.

The Lions just made it back to the playoffs for the first time in what feels like a lifetime, but the Falcons know better than any, it’s hard to get there. It’s even harder to get back. Jared Goff and Dan Campbell very well could never reach those heights again.

The Packers have a bright future, and I honestly like the combination of Green Bay’s head coach, quarterback, and GM more than Detroit, but let’s not forget Jordan Love is still green.

The Cowboys are the Cowboys, and Dallas will choke, while the Eagles had their best chance with Jalen Hurts on his rookie deal. The NFC is wide open, but there is one clear Super Bowl contender — the 49ers.

San Francisco has made four of the last five conference title games, winning two and losing both Super Bowls to the Chiefs. If the Falcons can absolutely count on seeing one club, it’s Kyle Shanahan’s, and Kirk Cousins knows that.

Photographer: Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire

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