NFC South Power Rankings: End of preseason standings

4 of 5

Sep 3, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons running back Tevin Coleman (26) runs the ball against the Baltimore Ravens in the first quarter at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

2. Atlanta Falcons
Last week: 2

It was a preseason with plenty of positives for the Atlanta Falcons. For one, the starting defensive unit looked formidable at times with a rediscovered pass rush. Rookie Vic Beasley and free agent signing Adrian Clayborn were the stars, although we also saw nice individual performances from O’Brien Schofield and Grady Jarrett.

On offense, rookies Tevin Coleman and Justin Hardy flashed potential and gave hope they can contribute this year, while Leonard Hankerson, plagued by injuries in Washington, has looked capable of stepping up if Roddy White misses any time.

Then there’s the bad news. The success of the offense will largely depend on the offensive line, which got blown away when up against the strong defensive front of the Miami Dolphins. Whether this was a mere blip on the radar of a line learning a new offense or a dark glimpse into the future will determine how strong this unit is.

Matt Ryan is a top tier quarterback with an elite receiver and plenty of potential around him, but the play up front is critical to the Falcons’ success in 2015. Another poor year and it could be back to the drawing board.

Next: No. 1