The Falcons in 2023 look much different than they did in 2021 or last year; this is by far the best roster of the new regime’s tenure. Given Arthur Snith’s back-to-back 7-10 finishes, one would expect improvement with superior personnel. To me, it’s playoffs or bust for the 2023 Falcons, and CBS is falling in line:
No, your eyes aren’t fooling you. A national media outlet sees the Falcons winning double-digit games along with a division crown and home playoff game, returning to the postseason for the first time since 2017.
Color me bullish on the Falcons this season, even with the QB depth chart consisting of Desmond Ridder and Taylor Heineicke. This roster has a real Titans-esque feel to it if the defensive veterans improve things on that side and Bijan Robinson can be a true workhorse. The Falcons actually fell to 3-4 at one point when I went through their schedule before ripping off a slew of wins. If they come out hot, this schedule sets up really well.
The Falcons aren’t going to be world-beaters, but the NFC South is the worst division in football. The Saints are the current odds-on favorite to take it, but the Dirty Birds aren’t far behind. Atlanta’s chances also rose significantly following the draft, whereas New Orleans’ dropped.
The Saints still have a tough, veteran defense that will be among the league’s best, and they also have the best quarterback in the division. That is why they’re the current favorites. There are a lot of unknowns with Desmond Ridder, but I am optimistic for different reasons.
An argument could be made that Atlanta has a superior roster, and even if it isn’t, New Orleans’ personnel is only marginally better. The supporting cast of a signal caller can sometimes overcome shotty quarterback play, but what’s even more reliable — coaching.
Dennis Allen and Pete Carmichael are two of the worst coaches in football. Not many people know who Arthur Smith is, but he’s one of the best run-scheming coordinators in the league. Carmichael might have the better quarterback, but he’s a far worse play designer and caller. Dennis Allen has also shown no ability to succeed as a head coach in the NFL. He’s an elite defensive mind, but that only gets you so far, especially with his right-hand man, Ryan Nielsen, in Atlanta coordinating the Falcons’ defense.
This divisional race is going to be one of the most competitive in the NFL, and it very well could come down to the Week 18 contest in New Orleans that decides who will move on to the postseason.
Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire
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