Falcons: NFL analyst predicts Michael Penix will start Week 1


The Falcons can come out and say there’s no quarterback controversy and Kirk Cousins is their guy all they want. I genuinely believe they are 100% dead set on Cousins starting all 17 games this upcoming season, providing he is healthy. However, they aren’t the ones who get to decide whether there is quarterback controversy or not. The noise has already begun, with NFL pundits already discussing when Kirk Cousins will be traded, and the calls will only grow louder for Penix if he impresses during training camp and the preseason.

Most recently, NFL Network’s Marc Ross had a bold prediction, proclaiming all six rookie quarterbacks taken in the first round will start Week 1 of the NFL season.

Now, Ross is betting on Kirk Cousins, who is recovering from a torn Achilles, not being ready for Week 1. I don’t think that’s an issue fans should worry about too much, given where he’s at in his recovery right now.

With that being said, this story could get a lot more interesting if Michael Penix is taking first team reps all offseason and looking real good doing it while Cousins is limited to the sidelines. Cousins may have cache in Minnesota, but his teammates, coaches, and fan base can’t possibly be 100% committed to him before he ever takes a snap for the Falcons. If Penix impresses, not only will fans want to see the rookie, but the people inside the building might start to second guess Cousins very quickly.

The situation that Ross is describing could be a worst case scenario. What if Kirk Cousins isn’t ready for Week 1, and Michael Penix goes out and leads the Falcons to a few wins to begin the season? Do you go back, and if you do, what if Cousins doesn’t look as good coming off a torn Achilles? Is he now a $180 million backup?

There’s a scenario where everything works out smoothly for the Falcons. Kirk Cousins experiences a lot of success over 2-3 years. Perhaps he even brings Atlanta back to the Super Bowl before handing over the reins to Penix, who turns out to be just as good, if not better. However, there are a million different scenarios that could force this ticking time bomb to explode, and this one by Marc Ross might be the most worrisome.

Photo: Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire

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