The regular season power rankings around the NFL have been hitting the Web today and we’re compiling some of the most popular here, with the Falcons’ placement in each.
|Outlet||This Week’s Rank||Last Week’s Rank||Comments|
|NFL.com||4||—||“Atlanta had a crappy 0-4 preseason. What else is new? The Falcons stunk in the preseason in 2011 (0-4) and still finished 10-6. Last year, Mike Smith’s group sleepwalked its way to a one-win preseason and proceeded to make it to the NFC Championship Game. This group wanted to get healthy and evaluate borderline players. Mission accomplished.”|
|ESPN.com||2||4||“The best offensive skill players in the league won’t matter if the offensive line struggles. The departures of Todd McClure and Tyson Clabo leave big holes to fill up front.”|
|CBSSports.com||3||3||“I keep hearing how they aren’t any better than last year. That’s fine. They were 10 yards from a Super Bowl. They will be around late again.”|
|BleacherReport.com||7||7||“The defense has been exceptional at times under Mike Nolan, but consistency is huge this year. Rookies Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford at cornerback must step up big this season to replace veterans Dunta Robinson and Brent Grimes. Where the pass rush will come from is a mystery heading into the season, but the rotation is strong at defensive end. Nothing short of a Super Bowl berth will be accepted in Atlanta. This team is good enough to get there.”|
|SBNation.com||5||—||“The Falcons were four points away from an NFC Championship last year. Atlanta’s lineup looks a little different this season after replacing aging running back Michael Turner with slightly less aging Steven Jackson, and pass rusher John Abraham with Osi Umenyiora. There’s little doubt that a healthy Falcons team will go to the playoffs; it’s how deep they can go that remains to be seen.”|
|NewsDay||3||—||“Matt Ryan took a major step forward in 2012 and bankrolled more than $100 million in a new contract. Time for some more playoff wins to justify his riches.”|