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Does Kirk Cousins have unreasonably high expectations for the Atlanta Falcons?

Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

Kirk Cousins’ decision to move on from the Minnesota Vikings in favor of the Atlanta Falcons was one of the top storylines early during the NFL offseason.

Cousins, 35, had spent the previous six years in Minnesota, earning three Pro Bowl nods in the process. He ultimately landed in Atlanta on a four-year, $180 million contract.

For the Falcons, adding a Pro Bowler under center seems to set them up well to compete in the average NFC South next season. He’s a massive upgrade over Desmond Ridder. He also has a ton of nice skill-position talent in that of running back Bijan Robinson, tight end Kyle Pitts and wide receiver Drake London.

Depite this, no one is going to mistake Atlanta for a top-end title contender with the likes of the San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions in the NFC. Just don’t tell that to Mr. Cousins.

 “I’m going to be committed to doing everything I can to help us win a world championship,” Kirk Cousins said recently.

Related: Full 7-round Atlanta Falcons mock draft

Kirk Cousins’ unreasonably high expectations for the Atlanta Falcons

Kirk Cousins, Atlanta Falcons
Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta has won seven games in each of the past three seasons. The team has not made it to the NFL Playoffs since back in 2017.

Sure, replacing Arthur Smith with Raheem Morris at head coach was an important step in the right direction. The Falcons saw no progression under Smith during his three-year run in Atlanta.

Owner Arthur Blank has also made it clear that these Falcons should be in win-now mode. Despite all of that, this team is certainly a step behind the likes of the aforementioned 49ers and Lions as well as the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC.

Related: Kirk Cousins standing in Sportsnaut’s QB rankings

One of the primary issues here is the defensive side of the ball. Atlanta ranked 18th in points allowed last season and 23rd back in 2022. The onus is going to be on general manager Terry Fontenot to draft well in that regard if the Falcons are to have any chance to compete in the NFC next season. Atlanta is slated to select eighth overall in the 2024 NFL Draft.

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