The Atlanta Falcons lost a game many figured they would lose (even before the season began) on Sunday. Because it’s their third straight loss and because offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian can’t seem to properly deploy his weapons stockpile, no matter how hard he tries, the fan base is officially ready to hit the panic button. To be frank, I can’t blame you if you’re worried. Meanwhile, the media, which never wants to give the Falcons the benefit of the doubt, is losing faith as well. Power rankings came out yesterday; let’s break them down.
ESPN: 12th (down 5 spots)
The Falcons had a 72 percent chance to win the NFC South after their 3-0 start, but those odds have fallen drastically after losing three straight. Atlanta's division chances could hinge on the stretch run. The Falcons play five of their last six games against division foes.
NFL.com: 19th (down 7 spots)
With Matt Ryan,Devonta Freeman and Julio Jones in place, what difference would it make to go from Kyle Shanahan to Steve Sarkisian in the offensive coordinator role? Not much. Who needs 12.4 points per game, anyway? That's how many fewer points per game these Falcons are scoring under Sarkisian this year. The entire stable of skill players was a nonfactor against the Patriots, lost in the fog of making up for 28-3.
CBS Sports: 11th (down 4 spots)
The offense just isn't good right now. It's easy to point the finger at Steve Sarkisian, but it's more than that.
Sporting News: 14th (down 2 spots)
Steve Sarkisian is whiffing as their version of a batting instructor and pitching coach. His ace, Matt Ryan, has hit a skid with Sark's random play-calling.
Sports Illustrated: 12th (down 7 spots)
Bleacher Report: 14th (down 5 spots)
The Atlanta Falcons didn't play their best game in Week 7. Not only did the New England Patriots beat them consistently on both sides of the ball, but the Falcons beat themselves. Coach Dan Quinn's decision to go for it on fourth down late in the first half near midfield was dumb. Tom Brady and the Patriots marched down the field and scored to take a 17-0 halftime lead. That put the nail in the coffin.
Well there you have it, Falcoholics. Am I surprised by any of this? No more than I’m surprised by Dave’s recent escape from rehab. Do these “rankings” matter? Absolutely not. The Falcons are .500 right now, playing in a relatively weak division. I still think they can make the playoffs and make a respectable playoff run. If they do that, we’ll look back at this and laugh.