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NFL Week 14 Power Rankings: Focus on the Atlanta Falcons

TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 05:  Quarterback Matt Ryan #2 and receiver Harry Douglas #83 of the Atlanta Falcons talk just before the start of the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on December 5, 2010 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
J. Meric/Getty Images
Rob BeloteSenior Analyst IDecember 9, 2010

At my site——I do a weekly power ranking of all 32 NFL teams.  It's a hugely subjective process in which I try to account for a team's strength of schedule, margin of victory, good wins and bad losses.

Where do the Atlanta Falcons currently rank?

They have a fairly good resume.  The week 1 loss in Pittsburgh isn't too harmful to their cause, as it was the beginning of the year, and the game was played on the Steelers' home turf.  With the Steelers still firmly in the top 10 all season (spending part of it in the top five), a narrow loss there actually looks decent on the record as one of the Falcons' two losses.

The other loss on the Falcons' record is also not terrible, as the Eagles have shown that they are capable of looking unstoppable, and as that game was played in Philly, it's understandable that Atlanta had troubles there.

Where the wins are concerned, the drubbing of the Cardinals looks decent, but no one thinks Arizona is a contender this year.  Beating the Saints in New Orleans actually looks better than the Cardinals game, given that division road games are tough spots. 

Only beating the 49ers by two when the game was played in Georgia is a slight disappointment.  The wins over Cleveland and Cincinnati were decent, but neither of the Ohio squads are in the top half of the league right now.  Beating Tampa Bay in Georgia is a win that the Falcons had to have if they're going to be a playoff team.

The best wins for the Falcons to date would have to be their victory over Baltimore in Week 10 and then a Week 12 win over the Packers.  Although the victory over Green Bay was only by three points, and it took place in Georgia, the slightly underwhelming victory was still a victory nevertheless.  With Baltimore and Green Bay both being top five teams, those victories certainly helped cement Atlanta's argument for being a top five team as well.

Did Atlanta do enough to be considered the No. 1 overall team instead of New England?

For the complete rankings and analysis, check out the article on my website,! Unlike Power Rankings you see elsewhere, your comments could help persuade me to rank your team better after Week 14!

You also might like the dueling NFL Week 14 picks article on, a new(ish) feature where the games on a given week's NFL schedule are debated amongst myself and another author on my site (who just happens to be a LIFE LONG PHILADELPHIA EAGLES FAN).

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