Being adjudged as the owners of the NFL's 19th-best -- or, put another way, the 14th-worst -- roster would, in ordinary circumstances, be no cause for celebration. But it was only last season that Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus, via a post on ESPN Insider, ranked the Atlanta Falcons' roster the NFL's second-worst. (Or 31st-best.)
This year, the same Monson places the Falcons, who apparently aren't quite the same, at No. 19. Let joy be unconfined!
Monson's upgraded assessment should not be confused with effusive praise. He rips the Falcons for signing wide receiver Mohamed Sanu -- this has been a consistent PFF plaint, you should know -- and calls them "thin at linebacker and in the secondary only (Desmond) Trufant is able to consistently win his matchups."
Under "starters who should be upgraded," Monson lists Sanu, cornerback Jalen Collins, tight end Jacob Tamme and linebackers Paul Worrilow and Sean Weatherspoon. (Three of those were acquired -- or re-acquired, in Weatherspoon's case, since Dan Quinn arrived.) Monson does, however, list Vic Beasley Jr. and Grady Jarrett as a "cause for optimism" in a front four of "solid but unspectacular players."
The Flowery Branch rallying cry: "Today No. 19, tomorrow the world! (Or, failing that, No. 18!)"