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NFL power rankings, Week 3: Falcons rising up

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

After a second straight big win featuring more grit and heart than an artichoke in a sand dune, the Falcons are moving up everybody's power rankings. Here's a sampling of where Atlanta stands in rankings around the NFL, and the upshot here is that they're somehow in top ten lists already. Such is the power of defense, Dan Quinn's fired up nature, and what looks to be a genuinely improved team.

SB Nation: 12

ESPN: 11

Matty Ice is proving worthy of the nickname so far this season. He's 14-of-20 for 231 yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Monday Morning Quarterback: 9

The Falcons catch a pretty big break in the next two weeks. They go to Dallas Sunday, and face Brendon Weeden instead of Tony Romo. Then they host Houston, and Ryan Mallett or Brian Hoyer will play quarterback (unless Dan Pastorini makes a comeback). Even Arthur Blank couldn’t have dreamed of sweeping the first quarter of the season, but it’s possible now. 10

The catch of the day goes to Julio Jones, on this beauty. The underrated road win of the day goes to the Falcons, who joined the Cowboys, Cardinals, Bucs and Patriots as the NFL's road warriors Sunday. Maybe fans and analysts weren't overly impressed with Atlanta's "W," viewing these Giants as a mess. Yet, on a day when members of Big Blue's Super Bowl XXV team were present, and the modern-day Giants were eager to put the Dallas debacle deep in the rearview, Atlanta outscored the home team 14-0 in the fourth quarter. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones just enforced their will on a flat Giants defense.