Atlanta Falcons: NFC Power Rankings, Week 12

3 of 5

No, Kirk Cousins, I didn’t like that. Your football team got absolutely destroyed by the undefeated Carolina Panthers. For as good as Washington looked against the New Orleans Saints in Week 10, they looked as bad against Luke Kuechly and the Carolina Panthers defense.

Washington still benefits from playing in the middling NFC East. I still think they are the second best team in that division behind only New York. However, if the Redskins want to make the playoffs, they will have to do so by winning the NFC East, as either Wild Card spot feels a bit out of reach at 4-6.

Previous: . St. Louis Rams. 11. team. 51. .

The St. Louis Rams have lost three straight games. At one point, this team almost tricked us into thinking that they could win the tough NFC West. Not any more. Though I love RB Todd Gurley and the Rams defense is pretty special, the passing game and the head coach are holding this team back considerably.

St. Louis still does a few things well, but are unfortunately an incomplete football team. With the threat of relocating to Los Angeles, the Rams needed to have a great 2015 and are going to come up short yet again. If this team wants to go anywhere, pun intended, on the gridiron, they need to fix the worst passing game in football and have to part ways with Jeff Fisher. .500 doesn’t save his job, making the playoffs do. With Arizona leading the West at 8-2 and still two games back of Atlanta in the Wild Card, that doesn’t feel likely.

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. . Previous: . New Orleans Saints. 10. team. 15

We’ll see how the New Orleans Saints look coming off their Week 11 bye. While they are at 4-6 and aren’t exactly out of the NFC Wild Card race, the defense looked especially under former DC Rob Ryan and had an embarrassing Week 10 loss to Washington.

Having Drew Brees playing at a Pro Bowl level helps HC Sean Payton‘s offense, but may not stand as enough to get New Orleans back in the postseason. They may have figured out how to stay strong on offense through salary cap purgatory, but if the Saints want to sniff at the postseason in the latter part of Drew Brees’ career, they are going to have to fix the defense in NOLA.

. . Previous: . Chicago Bears. 9. team. 57

Chicago continues to play hard for their new coaching staff, but unfortunately aren’t talented enough to contend for a playoff spot in 2015. Playing in the NFC North with two teams certainly bound for the postseason in Green Bay in Minnesota has the Bears on the outside looking in.

However, I feel that playing for pride does more for Chicago than anybody not really in it in 2015. I’d love to see more players on the Bears come into their own under John Fox’s leadership. This Chicago Bears team plays hard enough to surpass their 5-11 mark from last year. Chicago feels like a 7-9, maybe an 8-8 team.

Next: Tier II: NFC Playoff Contenders