Every week, NFL outlets line up to put together their power rankings. If your team is good and coming off a quality week, you get to bask in the relatively meaningless glow of that success in the power rankings. If your team is bad and coming off a loss, you get to bemoan your fate.
This week, we’re obviously in the latter category. A sampling of major NFL outlets reveals that the Falcons are widely perceived to be among the bottom half of teams in the league after Week 1. Most of those outlets did not have high expectations for Atlanta coming into the season, and watching them surrender so many points to the Seahawks did nothing to shake the belief that they’re going to fall short of their own expectations in 2020. Fortunately, power rankings after Week 1 are like career plans at age 3.
He played just 18 snaps coming off a knee injury, but the third-round pick performed well, rotating with starter James Carpenter at left guard. Hennessy helped open a hole for Brian Hill’s 10-yard run on his very first play. His most impressive snap was blocking Rasheem Green and Bruce Irvin on a third-and-6 to give Matt Ryan a little more time to throw. — Vaughn McClure
The defense was bad against the Seahawks, which is a change from the way they played late last season. It doesn’t get any easier this week at Dallas against the Cowboys. —Pete Prisco
The Falcons are the same team as last season. They want to be more reliant on the run now with Todd Gurley, but then they realize their major defensive weaknesses and amazing passing game strengths — Matt Ryan throwing to Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley — force them to embrace a different identity. Unfortunately, it’s not a winning one for Dan Quinn. —Vinnie Iyer
Give the Falcons this: They put together a beautiful box score on Sunday. Matt Ryan threw for 450 yards and two scores. Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley and Justin Gage each had nine catches and all went over 100 yards for the day. Todd Gurley began his Falcons career with an even 4.0 yards per rush and TD. But the defense had zero answers for the Seahawks’ Russell Wilson-led passing attack, and too much of Atlanta’s offensive fireworks occurred after the game was already decided. Dan Quinn’s team plays from behind too often — Week 1 felt too much like what we saw last season. —Dan Hanzus
I feel about Atlanta a lot like I feel about Houston. I think they ran into a Russell Wilson buzzsaw, and they should look better against most other teams. Next week will obviously be another test for a team that kept fighting after a brutal start last year. —Mitch Goldich
Where would you put the Falcons?