Falcons among CBS’ challengers to potential Chiefs three-peat


The Falcons signaled to the rest of the league they believed themselves to be contenders following the Kirk Cousins signing.

Atlanta went further than Minnesota was willing to go in every facet of the contract, giving Cousins more money guaranteed, average annual value, and years. It was a boisterous deal.

It was the largest free agent contract handed out this offseason, and it sets some high expectations for Raheem Morris in his first season in Atlanta.

Arthur Smith never had these kinds of expectations because he never had this competent of a quarterback. Honestly, a postseason berth may not even be good enough anymore. A first-round exit would be disappointing.

Competing is the goal, and CBS Sports believes the Falcons to be challengers to a potential Chiefs’ three-peat, including them in the ‘deep sleepers’ tier with the Cowboys and Jets.

The Atlanta Falconsnow have a sturdy quarterback in Kirk Cousins to go along with ascending skill pieces and an underrated defense in a wide-open division. But Cousins’ history suggests they’ll be more steady than special.

Cousins won’t be the reason the Falcons succeed or fail this season. Hell, he wasn’t the reason for the Vikings’ postseason failures, just like Matt Ryan wasn’t the reason for Atlanta’s devastating Super Bowl loss or any other playoff defeat. It’s a team game, all three facets matter.

The Falcons defense, as currently constructed, would be my guess as to a bigger factor in a hypothetical postseason loss than Cousins being ‘more steady than special’ because the unit has real holes at the two most important positions — edge and cornerback.

When the Falcons gave him $180 million, they immediately became vulnerable to harsher criticism. At this point, this looks a lot more like the defenses Matt Ryan dealt with than a championship-caliber one. The offseason isn’t over, though, so I’ll hold my judgment.

Photographer: Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire


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