3. Arthur Smith leads the Falcons to an NFC South lead they won’t relinquish
The job that Arthur Smith has done in Atlanta is being completely underrated for a team expected to be one of the three worst teams in the league. Dealing with a historic dead cap hit, the loss of impact players, and a quarterback who cannot consistently pass the ball Smith still has this Atlanta team in first place with a chance to put a game between themselves and the reeling Bucs.
Tom Brady and the Bucs look lost right now and the Panthers and Saints having a problem at head coach. Smith’s Falcons are the most stable team in the division right now and while they have a limited ceiling considering the lack of talent this team is going to win the NFC South.
With Tampa Bay, New Orleans, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Carolina all left on the schedule Atlanta’s path to eight or nine wins is clear and that should be all it takes to win a surprisingly awful division. While it might hurt Atlanta’s standings when it comes to a draft pick wins are more important than a higher pick this season. For far too long a culture of losing has been entrenched in Atlanta and Smith is working hard to change that, this season that will end with Atlanta hosting a playoff game on wildcard weekend.