Analyst shares why Kirk Cousins could be underwhelming with Falcons in 2024

Atlanta Falcons QB Kirk Cousins
Atlanta Falcons QB Kirk Cousins / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

In less than three months, Kirk Cousins will step on the field for his first regular-season game as a member of the Atlanta Falcons after spending the last six years with the Minnesota Vikings.

Cousins is expected to be an upgrade over the quarterbacks who started for the Falcons last season, but the bar he needs to clear to accomplish that isn't even above his surgically repaired Achilles.

Some believe Atlanta's veteran signal-caller should be able to put up numbers next season similar to what he was able to accumulate during his time with the Vikings. However, not everyone is completely sold on Cousins having the necessary tools to keep his production at an above-average level.

Kirk Cousins leaving the Minnesota Vikings for the Atlanta Falcons viewed as "a step down"

CBS Sports' Douglas Clawson recently wrote about which NFL quarterbacks on new teams could potentially elevate their performance next season.

Let's just say Clawson isn't exactly optimistic about Cousins playing better with the Falcons than he did during his tenure in Minnesota.

"Cousins was top 10 in the NFL in EPA per play, touchdown passes and passing yards before tearing his Achilles in Week 8 last year. I think it's safe to say he's not going to elevate from a top-10 passer to an MVP contender going from the Vikings to the Falcons.

Atlanta should certainly take a leap going from [Desmond] Ridder to Cousins, but Cousins is taking a step down in offensive infrastructure, albeit a small one. I like Drake London and Bijan Robinson, but there's only one Justin Jefferson."

This is actually a bit surprising, as some could argue that Atlanta has a more talented group of skill-players on its roster heading into the 2024 campaign. But, apparently, Cousins no longer having the opportunity to throw to Justin Jefferson is something that could prevent him from putting together a career performance next season.

Sure, this is possible, but Cousins also arguably performed better in the three games he played with Minnesota in 2023 without Jefferson in the lineup.

Compared to the five matchups he played in with Jefferson on the field last season, the former Vikings quarterback finished with a better completion percentage, touchdown-to-interception ratio, yards-per-attempt average, and passer rating in the three contests without the star wide receiver on the field.

Cousins was also able to put up solid numbers with Minnesota before Justin Jefferson even arrived in 2020.

So, perhaps he won't live up to the lofty expectations that some have set for him in 2024, but there still aren't any major reasons to believe he won't perform better than more than half of the other quarterbacks around the NFL next season, as he has during the majority of his career.

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