Kirk Cousins and the Falcons should not be able to walk through the NFC South in 2024

With Kirk Cousins now with the Atlanta Falcons, there’s a belief that the NFC South is Atlanta’s to lose. The rest of the division will have something to say.
Atlanta Falcons OTA Offseason Workout
Atlanta Falcons OTA Offseason Workout / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

When the Atlanta Falcons acquired Kirk Cousins, people throughout the NFL world were ready to crown the Falcons king of the NFC South. This is despite the fact that Atlanta hasn’t won the division since 2016, the season the Falcons lost the Super Bowl (28-3). Since then, the New Orleans Saints won four straight times, then the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won three straight times.

Still, everyone is quick to point out that the division is weak. Tampa Bay won the division last season with a 9-8 record, and the Saints finished second with the same record. Atlanta, who had very obvious quarterback issues were 7-10, and the Carolina Panthers had the league’s worst record at 2-15.

The argument for the Falcons, though, is that they’ll be able to establish their self as the dominant team in the division now that they have Kirk Cousins and Raheem Morris to lead their core of young talent. Maurice Moton became the latest to make this argument in a recent Bleacher Report piece, naming the top storylines that will determine the winner of each division in the 2024 season.

For the NFC South, the storyline: will Kirk Cousins bounce back into Pro Bowl form?

Can the rest of the NFC South compete with a Kirk Cousins-led Falcons?

Moton makes the case that everyone has been making: if Cousins can get back to his pre-ruptured Achilles form, he should be able to lead the talented young Falcons squad to an NFC South championship. Atlanta will certainly be a threat if Kirk Cousins is playing well, but the division is not Atlanta’s to lose.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New Orleans Saints, the top two teams in the division last season, both have had calculated offseasons that should keep them in the mix. Tampa Bay re-signed the majority of its core, and the Saints made a few key additions, and also hired Klint Kubiak as offensive coordinator. It’s fair to assume that 10-win seasons are possible for both teams. That means the Falcons will have to fight to win the NFC South, regardless of how well Kirk Cousins bounces back from injury.