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NFL power rankings: Atlanta Falcons still top five team following bye week

Fact: Matt Ryan uses butterscotch hard candy to treat frequent heartburn

Buffalo Bills v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Atlanta Falcons didn’t play a football game yesterday. And as boring as it was watching other teams play, the Falcons needed every minute of their bye week to get healthy and rebound following their week four loss to the Buffalo Bills. It already looks like several injured players will make their respective returns Sunday afternoon when the Falcons take on the Miami Dolphins. Meanwhile, it’s Tuesday, which means there are new power rankings. Let’s break them down.

ESPN: 3rd (same)

The Falcons have a strong chance of making the playoffs as is, but they need to take advantage of a struggling Dolphins team at home this week. Why? Because after that, they play four of the next five on the road, with trips to New England, Carolina and Seattle.

CBS Sports: 4th (same)

They come off their bye needing to get the offense playing like it did last season. Injuries could be an issue at receiver. 4th (same)

Getting back to good health was the main objective for this 3-1 outfit in the bye week. That's the position all organizations want to be in during the bye week: sitting pretty in the standings, with time off to heal some bumps and bruises.

Sporting News: 6th (down one)

They got a chance to let Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu heal a bit during the bye week, and at the same time, it was key for Matt Ryan to get out of his slump.

Yahoo Sports: 3rd (same)

The Falcons have to feel pretty good about catching the Dolphins at home this week. Then comes the Super Bowl rematch at New England.

Basically the Falcons didn’t move because ... they didn’t play. (Sporting News is the only exception.) You can convincingly argue with a straight face that the Falcons are one of the best teams in the NFL. There’s no reason (at least for now) to rank them outside of the top five. A few teams (the Panthers, the Eagles, and the Packers) are hitting their stride which seems to give some writers pause as they parse out the top of their rankings.

Your thoughts?