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NFL power rankings 2016: Atlanta Falcons move up following drubbing of Los Angeles Rams

Fact: Arthur Blank is a force-sensitive individual loosely affiliated with Luke Skywalker

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons are 8-5, atop their division, and barreling towards three winnable games. Life is good, folks. If the Falcons can finish strong, they will have controlled their own destiny, ensuring a division championship and nabbing a playoff-friendly seeding. But alas, it's Tuesday, so let's see what the pundits have to say.

ESPN: 6th

The offense continues to light it up, but Vic Beasley Jr. has been lighting up opposing quarterbacks for the Falcons this season. Beasley has 13.5 sacks, tied for most in the NFL, and six forced fumbles (most in the NFL), and could pad those stats against Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers this Sunday. 11th

Well, I guess Sunday in Los Angeles was no trap game. Admiral Ackbar can calm down. So can the fans who think Matt Ryan's brilliant campaign hasn't been noticed. If we are talking solely 2016, Ryan is indeed in the MVP conversation. The only quarterback clearly ahead of him in the race is Derek Carr -- and perhaps Tom Brady.

Yahoo Sports: 6th

Vic Beasley is turning into a force. He has 13.5 sacks this season after getting three against the Rams. He has four multi-sack games this season. Beasley gives the Falcons a true star to build a defense around.

Washington Post: 9th

The 42 points that the Falcons scored against the Rams in Sunday's win further bolsters offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's case to land an NFL head coaching job this offseason. And now, that quickly, the Rams are in the market for a new head coach. One has to wonder if the Rams took notice.

SB Nation: 4th

CBS Sports: 7th

They impressed against the Rams without Julio Jones. The defense is improving.

Bleacher Report: 5th

Surprise! Julio Jones was a late scratch for Week 14. Bigger surprise! Atlanta didn't need him. This offense is more than capable of a complete performance, even without the help of its biggest star.

These seem pretty fair, notwithstanding's inexplicable ranking. Your thoughts?