Atlanta Falcons: NFC Power Rankings, Week 8

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Oct 25, 2015; Nashville, TN, USA; Atlanta Falcons players celebrate after an interception to end the game during the second half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. The Falcons won 10-7. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons are 6-1 and are about to play their first NFC South game at home this season when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers come to town for a 1 PM Sunday kickoff.

While the Atlanta Falcons are sitting at a comfortable 6-1, I am still not sure how good this team can get in 2015. The running game and the offensive line are infinitely better than what we had to endure last year. Dan Quinn’s 4-3 Under defensive scheme is starting to take root in Flowery Branch. The improved play of the secondary and the linebackers has been a pleasant surprise. We just need the pass rush to continue to grow.

-= Related: Atlanta Falcons: 4 Observations in Win Over Titans =-

On the other hand, QB Matt Ryan has had a shaky 2015 under center in new OC Kyle Shanahan’s offense. Ryan is the best passer Shanahan has ever worked with, so is it Ryan or the system that is to blame? I hate to say it, but the special teams is starting to scare me a bit. K Matt Bryant has missed three field goals in two weeks, I’m afraid P Matt Bosher will have more blocked kicks, and I miss Devin Hester in the return game. Week 13 can’t get here fast enough for the special teams unit.

Across the league, it has been an exciting, but collectively poor brand of football we’ve seen in the first seven weeks. I feel that there are too many mediocre to atrocious teams in the NFL at the moment. Perhaps we are experiencing a widespread change of guard in the NFL’s hierarchy and we just don’t know it yet.

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Baltimore and Detroit are disastrous. The Colts are looking like a 6-10 division winner in the truly awful AFC South. San Diego and San Francisco are spiraling. Is it time to take the Oakland Raiders and the Minnesota Vikings seriously? Is there any team in football we are sure are a Super Bowl caliber team? It seems like everybody has warts and the first seven weeks haven’t taught us all that much.

I’m looking forward to maybe finally getting some answers in Week 8. The four teams that have a bye this week are the Buffalo Bills, the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Washington Redskins. Though I still have questions about all four of those teams, I think in Week 8 some things will start to make sense in the NFL hierarchy. Here is this week’s edition of the NFC Power Rankings.

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