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Week three NFL power rankings: the Falcons stand pat after week two victory

Fact: Matt Ryan regularly makes onions cry

Carolina Panthers v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Atlanta Falcons did their most spirited impression of a complete professional football team during Sunday’s victory over the Carolina Panthers. It was a timely win in that it assuaged some of the hysteria that dominated the Falcons-related interwebs following a week one loss to World Champion Philadelphia Eagles in Philadelphia. Today is Tuesday, and you know what that means: power rankings! Let’s break ‘em down.

ESPN: 8th (up two spots)

The Falcons made a big improvement in the red zone from Week 1 to Week 2. They were 4-for-4 scoring touchdowns inside the 20-yard line against the Panthers on Sunday, after they were 1-for-5 in Week 1 against the Eagles. 9th (down two spots)

The slight move down is due to leaps forward made by the Bucs and Chiefs, and all the injuries in Atlanta ( add Andy Levitre to that mix). Still, the Falcons got themselves a gut-check win Sunday. With no Keanu Neal, no Deion Jones and no Devonta Freeman, there is no question this group is not as strong as it could be. But give Dan Quinn major props for leading his team to victory over a quality divisional opponent.

CBS Sports: 11th (same)

Matt Ryan got back on track against the Panthers, and the Red Zone woes seemed to disappear. Can they keep it going against the Saints?

Sports Illustrated: 8th (same)

NBC Sports: 9th (up one spot)

Amazing how much it helps when you actually act competently in the red zone, huh? Matt Ryan won’t score twice on the ground every week, but Atlanta was much better inside the 20s and because of that, they were able to take out a formidable division rival.

SB Nation: 10th (up five spots)

Can’t quibble with any of these rankings. The Falcons offense still looks to be one of the league’s best, but if the defense doesn’t make you nervous, you’d better find a doctor and get confirmation that you still have a pulse.

Your thoughts?