The Los Angeles Rams are arguably the most talented team in the NFL, coming off a Super Bowl appearance. Many believe the New Orleans Saints will be even better offensively in 2019 than they were last season, when Sean Payton's team was something close to an unstoppable force. The Philadelphia Eagles are just more than a year removed from winning a Super Bowl of their own, with a re-fortified cast of playmakers ready to thrive catching passes from a fully-healthy Carson Wentz.
Aaron Rodgers, with a re-built Green Bay Packers defense, always looms. Same with Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks. The young Chicago Bears are coming off an unexpected 12-4 season, and it would be remiss to count out the Dallas Cowboys.
The NFC, just in case it wasn't clear, is loaded with quality teams this season. But one previously unmentioned squad, at least as NFL Network's Kyle Brandt sees it, will stand taller than the rest – the Atlanta Falcons, who went 7-9 in 2018.
Another deep playoff run for the @AtlantaFalcons? 👀
📺: @KyleBrandt // @gmfb pic.twitter.com/fjY5bMAH8b
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) May 21, 2019
Despite the list of several teams, at least, above Atlanta in the NFC pecking order, it's not an outlandish take whatsoever.
Franchise quarterback and 2016 MVP Matt Ryan could be poised for a career-best season under the tutelage of offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, his coach with the Falcons from 2012 to 2014. Atlanta completely revamped a previously porous offensive line, too, taking two linemen in the first round of the NFL draft and adding four in free agency, two of whom came at a pretty price. If the Falcons' defense improves, they could have as good a chance as anyone to play in the NFC title game.
Atlanta, like every other team, would just see a lot stiff competition along the way.