NFL power rankings: Atlanta Falcons rising after fast start


The Atlanta Falcons have begun the 2015 season in winning fashion. The 2-0 start is the teams’ first since the 2012 season, which ended with the Falcons hosting the 49ers in the Georgia Dome for the NFC Championship Game.

With 14 games to go, the Falcons still have a long road ahead of them. However, with games against the injured Cowboys, Texans, Redskins, Saints, Titans, Bucs and 49ers, it’s easy to at least visualize a similar (9-0) start to what we saw in 2012.

The Falcons have certainly not played their best football but have repeatedly found ways to win. Analysts had them ranked in the bottom ten teams at the start of the season, but the spark that the Falcons have shown has boosted them in the rankings across the many coverage sites. Here’s a roundup of those rankings.

FanSided — 13

Last week: 26
Differential: +13

"The game-winning touchdown, which came with less than two minutes left in the game, capped an 70-yard drive. Oh, and Julio Jones is back to his old self and putting up monster numbers and making mind-bending catches." – 10

Last week: 23
Differential: +13

"On a day when members of Big Blue’s Super Bowl XXV team were present, and the modern-day Giants were eager to put the Dallas debacle deep in the rearview, Atlanta outscored the home team 14-0 in the fourth quarter. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones just enforced their will on a flat Giants defense."

ESPN – 11

Last week: 17
Differential: +6

"Matty Ice is proving worthy of the nickname so far this season. He’s 14-of-20 for 231 yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter."

CBS Sports – 8

Last week: 16
Differential: +8

"I’m really happy for Dan Quinn. He’s created an aggressive approach on defense that compliments the clutch play of QB Matt Ryan. It remains to be seen how serious Tevin Coleman’s rib injury is, and how it affects the Atlanta rushing attack."

Bleacher Report – 19

Last week: 21
Differential: +2

"Julio Jones probably couldn’t be stopped by a moving brick wall right now. He’d just go full Kool-Aid guy and keep on running toward the daylight he so easily creates."

Pro Football Focus 8

Last week: 16
Differential: +8

"Wide receiver Julio Jones has had 59 straight catches without a drop, dating back to Week 12 of 2014."

Week 2 Average Ranking – 11.5

The Falcons have shown great improvement in the rankings which is a direct result of their on field performance. Up next is the Dallas Cowboys who are without Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, Orlando Scandrick, Greg Hardy and Randy Gregory. This matchup favors the Falcons, and with another win over the leagues current No. 3 defense, the Falcons should continue their climb to the No. 1 spot.