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Kissing Cousins: How Good Does Quarterback Make the Falcons Now?

The Atlanta Falcons may be the hottest NFL picks today. They upgraded at quarterback by signing Kirk Cousins then bolstered their receiving corps by signing Darnell Mooney. Now, new offensive coordinator Zac Robinson has plenty of tools to improve on this team’s 26th-ranked offense from last season. And given Atlanta’s major moves, its online odds have shortened. But is this team a contender or a pretender heading to the NFL Draft?

 

Kissing Cousins: How Good Does Quarterback Make the Falcons Now?
Kirk Cousins #8 of the Minnesota Vikings | Michael Reaves/Getty Images/AFP

Cousins Makes Atlanta a Playoff Team at Worst

Kirk Cousins gives the Atlanta Falcons a boost if we’re going by the presumptive NFL Vegas odds. So far, the Falcons are expected to win 10+ games at +110 and to win the NFC South at -125. Their Super Bowl odds also shortened from +5000 to +3000. In short: Cousins is a big deal.

The four-time Pro Bowler has a career QB record of 76-67-2. He is ranked fifth in passing yards (39,471) and fourth in passing touchdowns (270) among active quarterbacks. He will also be a major upgrade over Desmond Ridder.

Cousins should also have good chemistry with the Falcons’ new coaching staff. Raheem Morris, the team’s new head coach, worked with Cousins during their tenure in Washington. And Robinson is a longtime student of Sean McVay, who was also Cousins’s coach with the Redskins.

 

The Falcons went 7-10 last season despite having one of the worst quarterback situations. The consensus is that Cousins will provide a much-needed jolt to a rich crop of skill position players, which include running back Bijan Robinson.

The first-round pick is now at +2800 to win Offensive Player of the Year. And this may be a shrewd bet online if he can take off as many analysts expect. Robinson finished with 1,463 yards from scrimmage last season. He also had eight total touchdowns.

Cousins will also have a fine selection of receivers to throw to from Drake London to Kyle Pitts at tight end. The latter may be due for a breakout season.

It all looks great on paper as Atlanta also has four picks in the first three rounds of the NFL Draft. Expect its online sports betting odds to shift depending on who they draft.

 

The Case Against Cousins and the Falcons

There is a lot of hype on the Falcons for good reason. Cousins is a proven Pro Bowler, the new coaching staff has a pedigree, and the NFC South remains weak. Atlanta also has a manageable schedule with games against the AFC West and NFC East. Winning 10+ games should not be too difficult. But Cousins has his fair share of detractors for a reason.

The quarterback may be prolific, but he’s also inconsistent. He’s only led his teams to the postseason four times in his career. And he’s only led a 10+ win team twice. Wins are a team effort. Cousins rarely had a top-10 defense when he quarterbacked Minnesota and Washington.

And Atlanta projects to be another “mid” defense in 2024. Morris has only coached a team to a top-10 ranking once as either a defensive coordinator or head coach. And the Falcons have not ranked higher than 18th in scoring defense in nine of their last 11 seasons.

So maybe pump the brakes on Atlanta. This team is not a lock as an NFL pick just yet.

 

 

Questions of the Day

Will the Falcons win 11 or more games in 2024?


The Falcons have a regular-season win total of 10½. Most NFL predictions expect them to go under at -140.

Will Cousins lead the NFL in passing touchdowns?


Cousins is listed at +2000 to lead the regular season in passing touchdowns.

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