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NFL power rankings: Atlanta Falcons among league's elite following decisive week 5 victory over the Denver Broncos

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Fact: when Julio Jones smiles, an angel gets it wings

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons were nothing short of impressive against the defending Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos on Sunday. It was a statement win and the league is now on notice: the Falcons are for real. We've seen the Falcons continue to climb the power rankings over the past several weeks. Now they are being ranked among the league's best teams. That's kind of a big deal, because the NFL recently announced that power rankings really matter, and if you don't agree, then you're just a cotton-headed ninnymuggins.

NFL.com: 4th

What a showing. What. A. Showing. Tevin Coleman (163 scrimmage yards) and Devonta Freeman(123 scrimmage yards) sprinted, meandered, cut, curdoodled, spun and frolicked their way through the Broncos' defense Sunday. They were like William Andrews and Gerald Riggs out there, circa 1983.

ESPN: 6th

The Falcons fell apart after a 5-0 start last season, but Dan Quinn's 2016 squad seems poised for bigger and better things after defeating the defending champs in Denver in Week 5. A win in Seattle against Quinn's former team this week would further solidify the Falcons' claim as a top team.

SB Nation: 3rd

Out of the top spot are the Denver Broncos after picking up their first loss of the year. Losing to a good team like the Falcons with a backup, rookie quarterback isn't cause for a huge tumble, but Atlanta did expose some flaws that will be under the microscope for a while. One was Denver's struggle to keep Paxton Lynch upright. The anemic Falcons pass rush entered Sunday with four sacks in four games, but had the franchise's first six-sack game in over a decade.

Yahoo Sports: 4th

That was one heck of a victory at Denver. We have to look at the Falcons in a different way now. One aspect that was very positive was a breakout game from pass rusher Vic Beasley. In Beasley's first 20 NFL games, the eighth overall pick of the 2015 draft had five sacks. He had 3.5 sacks in his 21st game. The Falcons desperately need him to keep that up.

Washington Post: 4th

The win in Denver on Sunday was impressive even with the Broncos playing without QB Trevor Siemian. The Falcons have now put together consecutive triumphs over last season's two Super Bowl teams, the Panthers and Broncos. But there is no let-up with that trip to Seattle up next.

Bleacher Report: 6th

We now live in a world where the Broncos defense can be out-game-planned. It's one of the more surprising developments of Week 5—until you consider the guy behind the scheme has been doing this all season long. I can't praise offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan enough.

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