The Atlanta Falcons endured a disappointing loss to their biggest rival last week. It was hard to watch. And in the days since, the detractors have suddenly emerged en masse. Critics are calling the 5-0 start a farce, wondering aloud whether the Falcons were overestimated. It's a predictable response, one that can only be silenced by wins. For now, we're left with the various power rankings.
The Falcons lost their first game of the year in a division matchup with the Saints, while the Chiefs and Ravens continued their downward spiral with depressing losses of their own.
The only good news from Thursday night is there likely won't be another Falcons punter immortalized by a statue outside the Superdome.
The Vikings and Panthers (twice) are the only teams left on their schedule currently sporting a winning record.
The Falcons need to get off to better starts. They've trailed entering the fourth quarter in four of their six games and can't expect a comeback every week.
To be frank, I'd probably rank the Falcons 7th or 8th right now, and I'm an enormous homer. Until they learn to get ahead early, it's going to be a perpetual uphill battle. That said, there's nothing particularly unfair about about these rankings.