3 Reasons the Atlanta Falcons will win the NFC South in 2023
By Nick Halden
3. Atlanta's defense
Once Atlanta's 2023 draft class is added in there should be a real reason to believe this defense can be a top-ten unit in 2023 under Ryan Nielsen, Arthur Smith, and Jerry Gray. Adding overwhelming depth to the defensive line as well as bringing in Mike Hughes and Jessie Bates to upgrade the secondary will have this team taking a leap forward playing a perfect brand of football alongside Smith's run-focused offense.
Grady Jarrett and A.J. Terrell finally have the help they deserve for their tenures in Atlanta with both players greatly benefitting from the off-season moves. While Bates is the lone obvious upgrade to the secondary the defensive line moves will make Atlanta's corners far more effective.
It was hard to evaluate Atlanta's coverage in 2022 based on how long they had to stay in coverage before the pass rush was able to get home. No matter the skill level you give NFL receivers long enough and they will find the soft spot in the zone or find a way to beat man coverage.
Atlanta's biggest problem in the secondary was the inability of the pass rush to end plays they had covered early on. That will change in the 2023 season with the upgrades on the line that will ensure Atlanta returns to respectability when rushing the passer.