Are the Falcons overrated, underrated, or properly rated?


The Falcons made the two biggest moves of the offseason, signing Kirk Cousins to a $180 million free agent deal and drafting Michael Penix Jr. with the 8th overall pick.

Double dipping in the quarterback market was always a possibility for a team that went from more than a decade of steady play at the position with Matt Ryan to whatever we saw the last two seasons with Marcus Mariota, Desmond Ridder, and Taylor Heinicke.

Cousins immediately made the Falcons betting favorites to take the NFC South, and for Atlanta fans, it’s easy to see why. The club split the season series with the Buccaneers and Saints, both of which had far better quarterback play comparatively.

On the other hand, if your zip code is in Tampa or New Orleans, you’re scratching your head. It’s a tale as old as time — perspective. Depending on where you sit, the Falcons are either overrated or underrated.

Bleacher Report believes the Falcons are the former.

NFC Title Odds: +1100 (sixth in NFC)

The good news for the Atlanta Falcons is obvious: Provided his recovery from an Achilles injury goes as hoped, Kirk Cousins will stabilize an offense that desperately needs it.

Atlanta’s win total is listed at 9.5. Between a mediocre NFC South and a seemingly soft schedule, a 10-win season is truly possible.

But that friendly slate simultaneously looms as a January obstacle.

Right now, it appears the Falcons’ toughest road game is the Philadelphia Eagles. After that, it’s maybe the Minnesota Vikings—you know, the team replacing Cousins—or Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Either way, it’s hardly a gauntlet, and winning on the road is only more difficult in the playoffs.

This likelihood of success is more a product of favorable context than Cousins suddenly making Atlanta a real contender.

There’s no arguing the favorable circumstances of the Falcons’ 2024 schedule. It’s an easy schedule and Atlanta finished in third place last year.

However, from where I sit, the Falcons are properly rated. Only a rose-colored Falcons fans would consider the team to be underrated, but they’re certainly not overrated.

I guess it depends on your expectations for the team. Mine are that Raheem Morris will win the division, host a postseason game in Atlanta and maybe squeak out the Falcons’ first playoff win since 2017.

The NFC is wide open, but let’s not act like this roster in Atlanta is filled with world-beaters. The defense has more questions than answers, and changing the coaching staff isn’t a nothing burger. It matters.

If you expect the Falcons to win the Super Bowl, they’re overrated. If you expect the Falcons to finish 7-10 again, they’re underrated. If you expect them to finish somewhere in the middle, they’re properly rated.

Photographer: Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire


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