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.
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.
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 NFL.com's inexplicable ranking. Your thoughts?