NFL Power Rankings: Falcons Movin’ On Up


Atlanta Falcons cornerback Ricardo Allen (37) celebrates his interception as Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jordan Matthews (81) reacts on the ground in the fourth quarter at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

A wild Week 1 included eight one score games, at least three onside kicks by my count, and a last second finish in Dallas. We saw good teams lose and bad teams win and this week’s power rankings reflect the chaos on the field. The Falcons were this week’s biggest riser, moving up 9 spots from 16 to 7. The teams that fell the farthest are Detroit (from 9 to 17) and New Orleans (from 12 to 20). We can expect some pretty big shakeups over the next few weeks before teams start to settle into their slots.

So without further ado, let’s see how all 32 teams stack up heading into Week 2.

team. 49. I’m sure most of us were a little surprised to see the Bears going punch for punch with the Packers for much of their Sunday matchup, but the Packers did what they were supposed to do: finish Week 1 at 1-0. For a team that generally comes out of the gate a little slow, the Packers did nothing to lose their spot atop this list.. (1-0). Previous: . Green Bay Packers. 1

2. team. 47. The Pats did exactly what everyone expected them to, right down to allegedly tampering with the Steelers’ headsets. Brady and Gronk already look to be in midseason form, even if the defense still has question marks.. (1-0). Previous: . New England Patriots

123. The Cowboys just looked flat out impressive. Romo was unflappable, Witten was his old reliable self, and the defense played respectably. For now, they’re a top 3 team, but how will they get through the next 4-6 weeks without their best player? Their next 6 games: @PHI, ATL, @NO, NE, @NYG, SEA. Brutal.. (1-0). Previous: . Dallas Cowboys. 3. team

team. 36. The two-time defending NFC champs got hit in the mouth by a really impressive Rams defense and took too long to get it together. Beast Mode had just 73 yards on 18 carries, forcing miracle waterboy Wilson to throw 41 times. Not the Seahawks’ recipe for success. Circle their Week 16 rematch.. (0-1). Previous: . Seattle Seahawks. 4

Denver Broncos. 5. team. 45. The Broncos looked pretty good. Peyton Manning did not. Can the Broncos get used to winning despite Manning instead of because of him? The Broncos have the talent on the roster to win the division, but if they can’t get by with a subpar Manning, the Chargers and Chiefs may be duking it out for the division.. (1-0). Previous:

(1-0). Previous: . San Diego Chargers. 6. team. 13. The Chargers looked like they weren’t quite ready for kickoff, but their second half performance was top 10 quality. Rivers shredded a Lions defense that just didn’t have an answer for Keenan Allen.

(1-0). Previous: . Atlanta Falcons. 7. team. 44. We got exactly what we expected from the offense. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones connected 9 times for 141 yards and a pair of TDs. Dan Quinn’s defense was the difference maker. Worrilow was a tackling machine and the run defense held up well. The Falcons are the early front-runners for the NFC South.

Previous: . Miami Dolphins. 8. team. 59. The Dolphins won an ugly game against Washington, but they’ll continue to get better as the season progresses. Jarvis Landry is poised to break out. He looked good on Sunday, catching 8 balls for 53 yards and scoring the game winning TD on a 69 yard punt return.. (1-0)

(0-1). Previous: . Indianapolis Colts. 9. team. 46. Boy did the Colts look bad. Andre Johnson and Frank Gore may be showing their age, Andrew Luck threw a pair of costly interceptions, and the offensive line was just atrocious. The defense gave up 27 points to the Tyrod Taylor led Bills. It’s just one game, but Indy needs to figure some things out.

(0-1). Previous: . Philadelphia Eagles. 10. team. 54. Two plays stand out in a game that was one of the more exciting of the week: Chip Kelly electing to kick a late FG that was promptly missed on 4th & 1 in Falcons territory and Jordan Matthews dropping an easy catch that ended up being intercepted, ending the ball game. It’s a shame because the Eagles looked good otherwise.

Pittsburgh Steelers. 11. team. 55. The Steelers offense will be tested in the next two weeks with the 49ers coming to town followed by a road game against the Rams. The defense will be tested in the weeks after, when the Steelers play the Ravens, Chargers and Cardinals.. (0-1). Previous:

26. The Ravens were dealt a bad hand facing the Broncos D in Week 1. They get the Raiders next before facing each of their AFC North opponents. This division could come into focus early this year.. (0-1). Previous: . Baltimore Ravens. 12. team

56. The Bengals can run the ball and the defense looks stout with Geno Atkins back at 100%, two things that bode well for their playoff chances. Then again, they played the Raiders. Andy Dalton had 2 TD passes and neither of them were to A.J. Green. Weird.. (1-0). Previous: . Cincinnati Bengals. 13. team

(1-0). Previous: . Arizona Cardinals. 14. team. 32. The Cardinals always seem to get 30 points. Arians’ offense is a sure thing for scoring points. We’ll have to see a couple more games to find out if the defense was good enough to slow the Saints’ offense or if the Saints’ offense just isn’t as good. The Bears are next on the schedule so I guess we’ll have to wait a little bit longer to find out.

That defense though. Man oh man, the Rams looked good against a really good team. If the offense can get more production, and with Mason and Gurley out for the first game there’s reason to think it will, the Rams will be a tough squad to beat.. (1-0). Previous: . St. Louis Rams. 15. team. 51

Travis Kelce looked like an all-star against what was one of the best defenses against TEs last year. Alex Smith looked incredible and the Chiefs have Jamaal Charles on top of that. They’re going to be tough team this year in a tough division.. (1-0). Previous: . Kansas City Chiefs. 16. team. 124

50. Jekyll and Hyde returns for a Lions squad that looks flat out dominant at times and flat out embarrassing at others. Which team shows up in Minnesota this week?. (0-1). Previous: . Detroit Lions. 17. team

Previous: . Carolina Panthers. 18. team. 87. Carolina was able to take advantage of a Jaguars team that wasn’t ready for Cam Newton and the skill set he brings. With New Orleans and Atlanta looking better, Cam will determine how far this team can go.. (1-0)

Previous: . New York Giants. 19. team. 31. The Giants have their issues and Eli Manning “Eli Manninged” the heck out of that Sunday Night contest, but the Giants will be competitive.. (0-1)

20. team. 15. The Saints had a good showing in a place that’s hard to win. I can’t fault them too much for that, and perhaps an 8 spot drop is too harsh. The offense is no longer superhuman though. Can the defense make up for it?. (0-1). Previous: . New Orleans Saints

60. The Vikings gave up almost 400 yards of offense to the 49ers on Monday night and only managed 71 yards rushing. The offensive line may seriously hold back the offense of this preseason darling.. (0-1). Previous: . Minnesota Vikings. 21. team

16. The Bills may have the best defense in the league and are certainly top 3. The real surprise was the offense actually scoring points. The Bills may not have such an easy time scoring from here on out, but Taylor’s deep ball on his TD pass looked good.. (1-0). Previous: . Buffalo Bills. 22. team

35. Super Mariota looked fantastic out there on Sunday, passing for 4 TDs in the 1st half. He had more TDs than incompletions. Is he THAT good or are the Buccaneers THAT bad? If he can repeat his performance against a better defense than Tampa’s in Cleveland this week, the Titans may find themselves shooting up the rankings.. (1-0). Previous: . Tennessee Titans. 23. team

Carlos Hyde looks like how Frank Gore used to look, the offensive line can still maul and the defense was surprisingly good. Jim Tomsula remains undefeated as a Head Coach at 2-0.. (1-0). Previous: . San Francisco 49ers. 24. team. 42

30. The Jets looked good against the Browns. Breaking that down into two parts, the Jets looked good. Against the Browns. A nice day for Jets fans, but color me skeptic for the next few weeks.. (1-0). Previous: . New York Jets. 25. team

26. team. 10. “The JJ Watt show and the rest of a really exciting defense will get the Texans to 6 or 7 wins. I doubt the QB play gets them any more than that.” That’s what I said last week. I’ll just leave it there until the Texans can change my mind.. (0-1). Previous: . Houston Texans

team. 57. Chicago hung in there against the Packers, but Green Bay are perennial slow starters with a bad defense. Chicago gets points for effort, but the Bears won’t find any relief with the Cardinals and Seahawks coming up next.. (0-1). Previous: . Chicago Bears. 27

team. 28. Carr left the game due to injury and Matt McGloin actually looked good in his stead, but the Bengals feasted on the Raiders regardless. Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard combined for 126 yards and 2 TDs to go along with Tyler Eifert’s 104 yards and 2 TDs. . (0-1). Previous: . Oakland Raiders. 28

Bortles wasn’t very good and his receivers didn’t do him any favors with all the drops they had. The Panthers were a good test to see if this team was ready to fight for a .500 record. They didn’t pass the test.. (0-1). Previous: . Jacksonville Jaguars. 29. team. 52

53. Cleveland loses to the Jets and moves up in the rankings by virtue of a High School style blowout in Tampa. Overall, an underwhelming performance, but the Browns have some pieces that can shine this year. Plus, McCown was diving into the end zone when he was knocked out of the game, so maybe he can move the offense?. (0-1). Previous: . Cleveland Browns. 30. team

32. team. 48. A rookie QB turned the Tampa defense into Swiss cheese. Until James starts throwing more TDs than INTs, the Bucs will have a hard time being competitive.. (0-1). Previous: . Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Next: NFL Power Rankings: Week 1

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