Falcons reach highest win total since 2012 in latest record prediction

NFL: JAN 23 NFC Divisional Round Rams at Buccaneers

It seems everyone has a different opinion of who the Atlanta Falcons will be in 2024.

Following the release of the NFL schedule, fans and analysts alike have begun charting the upcoming campaign, and Raheem Morris’ team will immediately be tested.

Right out of the gates, the new-look Falcons led by Kirk Cousins will see a familiar face in Arthur Smith and the Steelers, the Eagles, and then the Chiefs — three playoff teams, including the defending Super Bowl champions.

It doesn’t get any easier either. They’ll immediately face the Saints and Buccaneers after that in what should be a very telling stretch for the Falcons. Some aren’t high on Atlanta, but Sports Illustrated’s Gilberto Manzano certainly is.

In his NFC record prediction for the Falcons, Raheem Morris leads the team to its highest win total in 12 seasons. Manzano predicts the Falcons will win 12 games, which would be their most since 2012 when they won 13 games under Mike Smith.

Wins: vs. Steelers, vs. Saints, vs. Buccaneers, at Panthers, vs. Seahawks, vs. Cowboys, at Broncos, vs. Chargers, at Vikings, vs. Giants, at Commanders, vs. Panthers

Losses: at Eagles, vs. Chiefs, at Buccaneers, at Saints, at Raiders

The new-look Falcons have plenty of quarterback drama after drafting Michael Penix Jr. in the first round on the heels of handing Kirk Cousins a four-year, $180 contract. But there won’t be a quarterback competition this summer, with Cousins expected to lead a talented offense that features Bijan Robinson, Drake London and Kyle Pitts. Drama aside, the Falcons have plenty of talent on both sides to win the NFC South and return to the postseason for the first time since 2017. Raheem Morris’s team, however, has a challenging home slate with games against the Cowboys and Chiefs.

Record predictions are a trivial business, but I thought it was notable that Manzano believes the Falcons are capable of owning the third-best record in the conference.

Behind the Lions and 49ers with 13 wins and tied with the Eagles at 12 wins, the Falcons would solidify themselves among the contenders in the NFC with that kind of season, and it would silence a lot of criticism.

Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire

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