The Atlanta Falcons saved their season on Sunday. But for that win, they’d be 3-4 headed into their first divisional game against the Carolina Panthers. We all know their road ahead will present its unique challenges, but cautious optimism isn’t off the table right now. Meanwhile, it’s Tuesday, so let’s break down the latest power rankings.
The Falcons righted the ship following a three-game losing streak, but the road ahead looks daunting. No team has a remaining strength of schedule more difficult than Atlanta's (.591 opponents' win percentage).
Self-inflicted wounds by the Falcons made their game with the Jets a little closer than it probably should have been. It also didn't help that the weather was bad. Because of the speed of Atlanta and the way the Falcons want to fly around on both sides of the ball, the weather was really an aid for New York.
Was that a season-saving victory against the Jets? They face a brutal division game this week on the third of three straight road games against Carolina.
Kyle Shanahan did many things well as Falcons offensive coordinator, and one of them was to make sure Julio Jones got as many targets as he could handle. Jones had an insane 203 targets in 2015, and 129 in 14 games last season. That’s more than nine per game. This season, Jones has had more than nine targets just twice in seven games. This shouldn’t be that hard: Get your potential Hall of Fame receiver the ball as often as possible.
How ESPN justified knocking the Falcons down a spot is beyond me. Again, unlike the college football playoff committee’s rankings, these power rankings don’t matter. But it’s clear how little Sunday’s win meant to non-Falcons fans. Right or wrong, the Falcons still have a lot to prove. Your thoughts?