Atlanta Falcons: NFC Power Rankings, Week 11

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

The New York Football Giants lost a heartbreaker to AFC rival New England by a point thanks to a Stephen Gostkowski game-winning field goal. New York sits at .500 entering their bye and are still the team to beat in the NFC East.

I trust HC Tom Coughlin’s ability to spark some playoff magic from a near .500 team. He’s done it before, so he could do it again in 2015. Since they are only a game and a half back of Atlanta and Green Bay in the Wild Card, should they not win the East for some reason their options to make the postseason are slightly better than Philadelphia’s and Washington’s. Should the G-Men make the playoffs, watch out! Recent history is on their side.

Previous: . Minnesota Vikings. 3. team. 60. .

The Vikings are 7-2 so I have to give them credit. While I like their HC Mike Zimmer and a fresh Adrian Peterson is simply terrifying, I still don’t think this team is as good as their record indicates. This team could go 12-4 for all I know, but they could go 9-7 and barely miss out on the NFC Playoffs.

However, they are in first place and seem to do the little things necessary to win football games consistently. I’m interested in how this team will play in Minneapolis once the weather gets nasty though. They are historically a dome team that is playing outside. That being said, this is a playoff team regardless of whether I like them or not.

More from Atlanta Falcons

. Previous: . Arizona Cardinals. 2. team. 32.

The Arizona Cardinals may have the second best record in the NFC, but this feels like the most complete football team in the NFC. Carson Palmer is playing at an MVP level in 2015. Bruce Arians is an outstanding coach for this team. Plus, that secondary is arguably the best in football.

The Cardinals should not only win the NFC West, but should have a first round bye at season’s end. If this team isn’t playing for an NFC Championship Game, something went horribly wrong. They’re now my favorite to represent the NFC in Super Bowl 50.

87. . . Previous: . Carolina Panthers. 1. team

In the NFC, nobody wants to face the 9-0 Carolina Panthers. How may Pro Bowlers does this defense have? Whatever HC Ron Rivera is cooking in Charlotte, it’s working. Of any team in football, the Panthers seem to know their identity better than anybody else and it is working marvelously.

Next: Atlanta Falcons: Can Team Maintain Wild Card Spot?

This team will go no worse than 13-3 in 2015. They should win the NFC South, regardless of how well their other three rivals play down the stretch. Carolina boasts a three-game lead over second place Atlanta, a five-game lead over third place Tampa Bay, and a five and a half game lead over fourth place New Orleans. The route to Super Bowl 50 in the NFC runs through I-85 in Charlotte, North Carolina.