Atlanta Falcons 2024 Predictions and Odds:

Atlanta has improved its power rating in each of the last two seasons, and the T Shoe Index is projecting another step forward for the Falcons in 2024. Obviously, there was a lot of drama surrounding the NFL Draft and Atlanta’s questionable (dumb?) decision to draft a QB in the first round after committing hundreds of millions of dollars to Kirk Cousins as a free agent. 

Nonetheless, the team’s ceiling is as high as it’s been in several years, and if Cousins is fully recovered from his torn Achilles, this offense could be spectacular with some of the weapons around him. 

 

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Offense

Atlanta was just 27th in EPA/play and 20th in success rate largely due to the fact they had virtually no passing game outside of Drake London. Ask any Ohio State fan what kind of impact Rondale Moore can have on a game, and they’ll probably curl into the fetal position as they recall his masterclass in 2018 when Purdue upset the Buckeyes after Moore asserted himself as the best player on the field. Adding Moore and Darnell Mooney provide two key weapons on the outside for Cousins to throw to, and they bring back TE Kyle Pitts and stud running back Bijan Robinson, who had almost 1,500 total yards of offense last year. 

Additionally, coach Raheem Morris and offensive coordinator Zac Robinson both worked under Sean McVay so there’s hope they can create some of that McVay magic on the offensive side of the ball in 2024.

The losses are minimal but include RB Cordarrelle Patterson, QB Desmond Ridder, and TE Jonnu Smith.

Defense

The calling card for Atlanta last year was its defense, which ranked 12th in Defensive EPA/play and fifth in Defensive Success Rate, and didn’t lose any key pieces off of that defense for 2024, while adding Ruke Orhorhoro and Bralen Trice to the mix. 

An area they need to improve this year is in pass defense, as they ranked just 21st in opponent EPA per Dropback, although they were fifth in Dropback Success Rate, so they were fine down-to-down but gave up explosives that drove up that EPA number. 

Outlook

Even if the defense maintains its play from 2023, the Falcons have to be the most likely NFC South winner, as TSI has them rated 0.6 points better than the next closest team (New Orleans) in the division. Again, the offensive success is largely going to hinge on Cousins’ health and/or the locker room dynamic between Cousins and Penix in what is undoubtedly an awkward situation to be in. 

TSI projects 9.6 wins for Atlanta, which does have the easiest schedule in the league by my numbers. The Over/Under is currently 9.5 with the Over juiced to -135, so there’s really no play to be made here, but the numbers very slightly favor the Over if you had to pick it.

Atlanta Falcons Pick: Over 9.5 Wins