Falcons one of CBS Sports’ six new NFL playoff teams in 2024

NFL: SEP 10 Buccaneers at Vikings

There is no league among the big four that compares to the NFL in terms of parity. Every single season, around six or seven of 14 playoff spots feature new clubs, and the Falcons are primed to be one of them.

In CBS Sports’ projection of six new playoff teams, the Falcons, Jets, Seahawks, Jaguars, Titans, and Bengals were the candidates who missed out on the playoffs last year and are projected to make it in 2024.

The Falcons had all the ingredients for a wild-card run in 2023, except a legitimate signal-caller. Now Kirk Cousins is under center, and while his career sugfgests more of a steady hand than a special talent, he’s got enough ascending skill talent and underrated defensive support tno warrant an instant playoff berth in the wide-open NFC South.

The Falcons have the luxury of playing in the NFC South. So, unlike the Seahawks, Jets, and Bengals, Atlanta has a better chance of winning their division and earning a home playoff game.

Seattle has to compete in the loaded NFC West with the Rams, 49ers, and Cardinals. New York resides in the AFC East with the Bills and Dolphins while Cincinnati has to go up against the Steelers, Ravens, and Browns in the AFC North.

Meanwhile, the Falcons will go up against the lowly Panthers, Buccaneers and Saints. That’s an enviable situation for any club. Atlanta hasn’t made the postseason since 2017 and hasn’t hosted a playoff game in their home stadium since 2016.

If the Falcons win the NFC South, it’ll mark the first postseason contest in Mercedes-Benz Stadium. With the investment in Kirk Cousins, not making the playoffs would be a supreme disappointment.

There’s no reason the Falcons could hang around the division with the Buccaneers and Saints last year with Desmond Ridder and not do the same with Cousins.

Photographer: Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire

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