NFL Week 13 Power Rankings: Falcons idling despite loss

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The Falcons fell in the final minute of the contest against the Commanders. Arthur Smith’s offense, led by Marcus Mariota, drove down the field off an explosive play via Olamide Zaccheaus and a methodical run game. Once inside the five-yard line, Smith opted to throw it. Mariota’s pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage and hauled in by Washington in the endzone. However, the Falcons had all three timeouts and forced a three-and-out. Atlanta’s offense would have around 40 seconds for a miracle. But as we’ve seen repeatedly, this team loves to rip its fans’ hearts out — roughing the punter, Commanders’ first down, game over. Despite the loss, the Falcons didn’t fall much, if at all, in the national NFL power rankings.


18. Falcons (18 last week): “Atlanta is a half-game out of first place in the NFC South and faces one team with a winning record — Baltimore — the rest of the season. Plus, the Falcons still have games against the Saints (Week 15) and Bucs (Week 18), which could spell the difference between being NFC South champs and out of the playoffs. The fact that we’re still talking about this speaks to how Atlanta has overachieved this season and put together strong game plans to maximize what the team does well (run the ball, control clock).” — Michael Rothstein


18. Falcons (19 last week): “Now that Kyle Pitts is out for the season, we can complain how Drake London isn’t getting enough targets. After a great start to London’s career, he hasn’t had more than 40 yards in a game since September. London was the eighth pick of the draft, the Falcons are desperate for playmakers on offense, and yet they can’t get him involved. It doesn’t make much sense.”


18. Falcons (16 last week): “Losing at Washington isn’t a good thing, but in the NFC South they are still alive. They have competed in almost every game this season, which is a good thing.”

Team website

18. Falcons (18 last week): Gotta finish better. Plain and simple.”

The Buccaneers losing to the Browns in overtime helps the Falcons’ case in NFL power rankings because Atlanta is still squarely in the playoff hunt amid the worst division in football. The NFC South boasts no team over or even at a .500 record — it’s a perfect example of why every division winner shouldn’t host a postseason game, but I digress. The Falcons still have one matchup against the Bucs and Saints, so however long the odds, the Dirty Birds are mathematically alive in the playoff race.
Photographer: Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire
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