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4-1 vs Falcons, Russell Wilson & Steelers Handed Favorable Start as Kirk Cousins Faces Uphill Battler in Arthur Smith’s Return

Published 05/14/2024, 9:25 PM EDT

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The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Atlanta Falcons don’t have a lot in common, except for the fact that they both acquired veteran quarterbacks to be the new faces of their teams. The Steelers got Russell Wilson for quite a bargain, while for Kirk Cousins, the Atlanta Falcons had to pay a steep price.

But given the history of these franchises on the field, the Falcons might find failure to be imminent. As the schedule for the new season is finally out, it is being reported that Cousins and Co. will face Russell and his team at home this time. But would it make a difference considering Wilson’s record against the Falcons? A few stats about Russell Wilson, the Falcons, and the Steelers shed light on the bigger picture.

With Russell Wilson as their new face, the Steelers are expected to topple the Falcons

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According to Statmuse, Russell Wilson has seldom failed against the Atlanta Falcons. Russell Wilson has played 5 times against the Atlanta Falcons and won 4 of those gridiron skirmishes. The only time the Steelers QB lost to the Falcons was in 2017 when the Falcons barely managed to get away with a 34-31 victory. It was the time when the Falcons had Matt Ryan as their QB. Wilson threw for 258 yards and had two touchdowns in the game.

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But this comparison goes deeper. It is not just the new Steelers’ QB Wilson who has an epic record against the Falcons but also the team has been topping the Falcons since 1966. The Pittsburgh team holds a 15-2-1 record against the Atlanta team. The Steelers’ loss dates to 1970, when the team lost 16-27 to the Falcons. It happened again decades later when the Steelers lost in a 38-41 game. However, by some circumstance, the teams had a tie match in 2002 when the Falcons had the legendary Michael Vick as their QB.

However, the gridiron landscape has changed a lot since then and this competition has a new face, especially since the OC Arthur Smith, who used to coach Falcons from 2021 to 2023 left for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Additionally, there are a few more things that make a compelling case for Steelers and Russell Wilson to dominate the Cousins-led Falcons.

Are the Steelers set to take over?

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Through Stathead Football, a comparison between Wilson and Cousins reveals a picture with minute details. To start off, the Steelers QB is 4-2 against Kirk Cousins in his career. Moreover, he’s also 1-0 against Kirk Cousins in playoff games. On paper Russell Wilson also seems more reliable than Cousins because he played 188 games in his career, writing off Cousins’ 150 games.

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It doesn’t stop there because Wilson is also 115-72-1 in his career, while the ex-Minnesota QB is 76-67-2 so far. Wilson has more passing touchdowns, more yards per attempt, lesser interceptions, and even more rushing attempts and rushing yards. One top of that, Kirk Cousins never had a championship win and never had an All-Pro.

On paper, the Steelers with the addition of Russell Wilson seems to be an unstoppable force against the Atlanta Falcons. Also, the Steelers are at an advantage here because when they play against Cousins in Atlanta, they would be apprised of their offensive tactics. By all means, the Steelers look more impactful if this comparison is considered as a starter. Hence, Kirk Cousins and his team are in for a tough fight in the future.

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Written by

Abhinav Prakash

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Abhinav Prakash is a senior NFL Writer at EssentiallySports. He covers several aspects of the game, more specifically core sports events. A jack of all trades, Abhinav has also covered trends surrounding the league, for instance, Taylor Swift's undeniable impact on the league.
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Edited by

Aazima Basharat