Atlanta Falcons: NFC Power Rankings, Week 8

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Oct 25, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) signals a first down during the third quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Bank of America Stadium. Carolina defeated Philadelphia 27-16. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

4. team. 31. . . Previous: . New York Giants

Eli Manning is back, or at least he can’t have two consecutive bad games in OC Ben McAdoo’s offense. The New York Football Giants avenged their Week 1 loss to the Dallas Cowboys and are now back in first place in the NFC East.

Manning is the best healthy quarterback in the division and the receiving corps still has Odell Beckham Jr. in it. This teams stands as the favorite to win the NFC East, not just because this is a decent football team, but because we can’t trust Washington or Philadelphia and Dallas is awful without Tony Romo. A Week 2 rematch with the Atlanta Falcons in the Wild Card Round seems possible. Not sure if the Giants avenge that loss should they get a rematch with Atlanta.

3. team. 32. . . Previous: . Arizona Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals are similar to the Minnesota Vikings in that they don’t have any impressive wins. Their best win was in Week 1 at home, topping the now 3-4 New Orleans. ‘Zona lost a divisional game on the road in St. Louis and couldn’t figure out Pittsburgh’s Landry Jones in Week 6.

It’s hard for me to envision an NFC Playoff without the Arizona Cardinals in it. However, St. Louis and Seattle loom large in second and third place in the NFC West, respectively. Also like the Vikings, their schedule intensifies down the stretch, starting with a November 15th road date to Century Link. Entering Week 8, the Arizona Cardinals are the favorite to win the NFC West and will host the Vikings in the desert in the Wild Card Round.

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Carolina Panthers. 2. team. 87. . . Previous:

I hate to say it, but the Carolina Panthers might actually three-peat as NFC South Champions. Of course, Atlanta and in some aspects, New Orleans and Tampa Bay may have some say in the that. So how is a team with little to no artillery in the passing game that also missed significant time from their best player on defense still remain undefeated?

Two reasons: QB Cam Newton is playing at an MVP level through the Panthers’ first six games and CB Josh Norman is the best cornerback you’ve never heard of. Outside of beating a sub-.500 team in Seattle, the Panthers don’t have any impressive wins. I like the Panthers to move to 7-0 by handling the Colts, before losing their first game of the year on November 8th to the Green Bay Packers. Until they lose, the Panthers remain the 2-seed in the NFC and understandably so.

49. . . Previous: . Green Bay Packers. 1. team

Green Bay will have a tough test going to Denver to play the Broncos and their all-world defense on Sunday Night Football in Week 8. The Pack have managed to get to 6-0, despite not playing their best football. Opponents can slow QB Aaron Rodgers down if their secondaries can play great press coverage. Giving up over 500 yards passing to Philip Rivers and the Chargers is a little frightening.

The Green Bay Packers will lose a game at some point this season, but I’m not sure to whom. Knocking off both fellow undefeated teams in Denver and Carolina seems possible. Will the Pack drop a game in the division or on the West Coast? For now, the Packers remain the team to beat in the NFC until they lose.

Next: Atlanta Falcons: Is This Team Good or Lucky?

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