FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – With a week before most NFL teams begin training camp, predictions for the upcoming season are pouring in from various media outlets.
Most recently, Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd gave his predictions for the NFC South.
Cowherd said he believes the Falcons will win the division with a record of 11-5.
Here’s Cowherd’s reasoning for picking the Falcons:
“They’ve won 26 of their last 40 games most against the superior NFC in a very tough division,” Cowherd said. “I really like them this year. Steve Sarkisian is in his second year. I think they have the most underrated offensive line in football. Atlanta’s is really, really good. By the way, defensive line, Vic Beasley has become a really high end pass-rusher. They have depth at running back, depth at wide receiver. Falcons win this division.”
The Falcons return 10-of-11 starters from the 2017 season on both sides of the ball.
Cowherd mentions Atlanta’s offensive line as one of the main reasons he’s excited about the Falcons, and there’s reason for that. Continuity is key for the success of that position group in particular, and the Falcons have every starter returning.
Not only do they all have experience playing together, they all will enter the season healthy. Both Ryan Schraeder and Andy Levitre suffered injuries in 2017 that forced them to miss games. Alex Mack is at the very front of this unit and is coming off another Pro Bowl season. Jake Matthews had one of his best seasons last year and is someone general manager Thomas Dimitroff has said the team would like to re-sign in the future. The Falcons also signed veteran guard Brandon Fusco who brings familiarity and experience in the zone-blocking scheme, while Wes Schweitzer will enter his third season with experience having started all 16 games for Atlanta at right guard last season.