Full preseason NFL power rankings: Where the Falcons should rank
This feels more accurate for the Atlanta Falcons than all those rankings at 31 and 32. People are blasting this team without looking at the big picture. Marcus Mariota and Desmond Ridder have been unstoppable in the preseason, and yes, I know, it is just the preseason.
They have Kyle Pitts and Drake London who can both take over a game, as well as Cordarrelle Patterson who can do everything. They have the potential to be an elite offense if their offensive line can improve from last year, which is a huge question.
Now, there is an obvious reason for concern for their defense but they have a couple young safeties who could break out and three proven corners. The linebackers and pass rush are what is worrisome but if Deion Jones and Rashaan Evans can play good enough and the young, talented pass rushers can do enough, they might have a chance to be good like Dean Pees believes.
Yes, a lot of speculation, but if a few things can turn out in their favor then they could rank higher, and even if they don’t, they are still not a bottom-five team.
This is when you get to those teams that could be really good but just have too many question marks, and that is exactly what the Cardinals are.
Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins (following his suspension) need to come up clutch for them and if they do then this team could compete. As for their defense, they have J.J. Watt if he can stay healthy as well as Isaiah Simmons and Budda Baker, but what will hurt them is the loss of Chandler Jones.
Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook, wow that makes for a deadly combo. Kirk Cousins is good enough to take this team somewhere but it will depend on the health of their stars, mainly Cook who has been injury prone. Their defense is full of veterans who have had a lot of success in the past.
This is just such a weird team, there is no other way to put it. They have an extremely good offensive line and one of the best running backs in Nick Chubb but Deshaun Watson, what will they get when he is gone and what will they get when he takes the field? No one has any clue. Their receiving corp is also a little bit underwhelming, and you can kind of say the same thing about their defense outside of Myles Garrett and Denzel Ward.
There has been so much shuffling in the AFC North that it is hard to believe. For the Steelers, they really have a good roster but their season is dependent on if their quarterback — Kenny Pickett, Mitch Trubisky, or whoever it may be — can just avoid mistakes, as well as if their offensive line can get through the tear-down it has gone through recently.
T.J. Watt is the second-best defensive player in the league, Cam Heyward isn’t too bad either, and their secondary always seems to play better than they should.
Again, it just comes down to the uncertainties at quarterback and offensive line.