Every betting site that I’ve found has the Atlanta Falcons as long-shots to win their division in 2021, anywhere between +1000 and +1300 odds to win the NFC south.
Early 2021 NFC South Divisional Odds, per @betonline_ag
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4/7
New Orleans Saints 11/5
Carolina Panthers 11/1
Atlanta Falcons 12/1
— Ross Jackson (@RossJacksonNOLA) February 11, 2021
WSN had the Falcons under the designation as “no chance to win,” here’s what they had to say:
Time for a new head coach in Atlanta, and former Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith is going to give it a try, so maybe he can figure out what nobody else seems to be able to, which is how to convert the vast quantity of Falcon’s playmakers into wins.
Quarterback Matt Ryan and wide receiver Julio Jones are incredible together, maybe the best duo that Atlanta has ever seen, but despite their constant production and team leadership, the two could be playing in their last NFL seasons ever, at least wearing a Falcons uniform.
The relatively good news after a 4-12 season is the high draft pick the team gets the following offseason, and many mocks have the Falcons taking offensive talent with their fourth overall selection, playmakers like Florida TE Kyle Pitts, LSU WR Ja’Marr Chase or, in one case, OSU QB Justin Fields.
In my opinion, the Falcons are in a much better position to succeed in the NFC south than the Panthers and Saints. New Orleans’ defense is elite, no question about it, but Atlanta has something the other two don’t: a quarterback. Sean Payton is an evil genius when it comes to attacking defenses, but Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill aren’t difference-makers. I’d go with the pair of Matt Ryan and Arthur Smith, who is a creative offensive mind in his own right, over Payton and the pair of quarterbacks in New Orleans.
The Panthers also don’t have a reliable quarterback like Matt Ryan, nor do I believe the pair of Matt Rhule and Joe Brady trump Arthur Smith’s offensive mind. I don’t understand the oddsmakers’ vendetta against Atlanta, but these are great odds here for an offense loaded with talent, and a great offensive mind coming in orchestrating it. The Buccanneers are loaded, bringing back the identical Super Bowl roster outside of Leonard Fournette and Antonio Brown, but nothing ever goes as planned in the NFL — one injury could derail Tampa Bay’s season.
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