The Atlanta Falcons feel good about their team headed into the 2017 season. You’ll notice the complete absence of anyone panicking after the Falcons lost to the Miami Dolphins in the first preseason game. That’s because the preseason doesn’t matter. It’s also because the Falcons know what kind of product they expect to put on the field once the regular season begins in September.
We’ll be highlighting power rankings for you every Tuesday this season, just like we did last year. Obviously these rankings are arbitrary, and more often than they ought to be, inaccurate. But it’s good to keep track of what others are saying about the Falcons, if only to keep ourselves entertained. Typically we’ll highlight the power rankings from a variety of outlets, but for this week, we’re only going to look at ESPN’s power rankings, which came out this morning. They ranked the Falcons second overall, behind only the New England Patriots.
The Falcons' offense is still as potent as it was last season, and a defense that relied heavily on rookies and finished 27th in points allowed in 2016 could see big improvements. A return to the Super Bowl isn't out of the question, and ESPN's Football Power Index (FPI) trends that way as well, giving Atlanta the sixth-best odds of making the big game.
This is exactly where the Falcons ranked in ESPN’s power rankings following the NFL draft as well. So basically, from their perspective, nothing has changed. That’s accurate, so kudos to them for recognizing that.