Former NFL mastermind Gil Brandt, now a media commentator at the league’s network, has unveiled his list of the best rosters out there right now.
The Atlanta Falcons clock in at the eight ball.
The offense ranked eighth in 2017 -- and that could be considered a disappointment, given the level of talent on this unit. I think that relative underperformance can partly be blamed on the need to adjust to new offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian. But Sarkisian is a very good coach who is basically doing the same things his predecessor, current 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan, was doing, with rhythm being the main difference -- I figure everyone will be on the same page this season. The guards also struggled in 2017, so the Falcons went out and got Brandon Fusco, a veteran who can play anywhere on the line. Rookie receiver Calvin Ridley should make the passing game even better. The key for the ninth-ranked defense will be the continued improvement of youngsters Keanu Neal, Deion Jones and Takk McKinley. Vic Beasley will move back to being a 4-3 edge rusher, which is the position he was in when he racked up 15.5 sacks in 2016. After a down year, quarterback Matt Ryan will revert to the mean -- which, for him, means returning to MVP-status. And then there’s receiver Julio Jones, who will go down as one of the top 10 receivers of all time.
That’s a lot of nice things to say, and we agree for the most part with all of it. Seeing someone that smart call Sarkisian “a very good coach” warms the heart.
Though, where people rank in these things always comes up for conversation, and I suppose we can’t get on board with exactly *where* the team is ranked. At spot eight, under the Tennessee Titans.
You can see the arguments for teams like the Eagles, Vikings, Saints, Jaguars, Rams and heck, even the Chargers. But, the Titans!?! They’ve got a good roster, don’t mistake us. But...really, Gil? Really? The Titans. Above the Falcons. On a list. Psh.
The Falcons have its best roster in eons, and we’d personally rank them third in the league for talented assemblies, just behind the Eagles and Vikings. The team doesn’t quite have the defensive monstrosity going on those teams do. We’re certainly a bit better roster-wise than the Saints, Jaguars and Rams. Chargers, too. Especially the Titans. Sheesh.
But, y’know, a list here is a list there, and for all the lists that forget the Falcons exist, it’s nice to have one pop up that remembers us, and remembers how great we are.