3. Atlanta Falcons
It will be a close race for the bottom of the division if the Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons both stick with their current starting quarterbacks. For Atlanta, Marcus Mariota is enough of a wildcard that paired with Kyle Pitts, Cordarrelle Patterson, and an improving defense the Falcons could be surprisingly competitive. This isn’t to say the Falcons have any hope of competing this season.
Rather that they will fight hard and have enough talent to surprise a couple of teams this season. With a moderate schedule, the team could follow a similar path to last season winning just enough to stay respectable while being far from a contending team.
The draft could change this drastically, however, as the team decides whether or not to draft a quarterback. Marcus Mariota as the Atlanta Falcons starter is enough to give the Falcons 4-5 wins in what will be a long season setting up for the future. Atlanta has no hope of contending with Tampa Bay or New Orleans at the top of the division-winning any of those four games would be a major upset for a team with a drastic talent disadvantage. A painful fact that fans will be forced to acknowledge early on this season.