Atlanta Falcons: NFC Power Rankings, Week 12

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team. 44. . . Previous: . Atlanta Falcons. 8

Now that the Dallas Cowboys have won a game, there isn’t a team in the NFC playing worse entering Week 12 than the Atlanta Falcons. Turnovers, so many turnovers. The supposedly soft schedule of the Atlanta Falcons in 2015 isn’t so soft any more, with all five remaining opponents very much in the playoff hunt (Minnesota, Jacksonville, and the rest of the NFC South).

While the defense looks to have improved in the first year of the Dan Quinn Era, the offense and the special teams have taken a step back in 2015. Sure, the stats may indicate that Atlanta is doing well on both fronts, but going 1-4 in their last five games is the only statistic that matters. Get back to playing winning football!

48. . . Previous: . Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 7. team

Tampa Bay crushed the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday with a 5 touchdown performance from rookie QB Jameis Winston. The Dirk Koetter offense looks arguably better than it did in Atlanta. RB Doug Martin had 235 rushing yards on the ground in Week 11. When did Atlanta ever run for over 100 yards when Koetter was in Flowery Branch?

The Buccaneers are peaking at the right time and have gotten themselves back to .500. Since they beat Atlanta in the Georgia Dome, should they knock off the Falcons at home in a few weeks, Tampa Bay could end their eight-year playoff drought by stealing the 2nd NFC Wild Card spot from the Atlanta Falcons.

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36. . . Previous: . Seattle Seahawks. 6. team

Seattle isn’t Super Bowl caliber in 2015, but they have gotten back to .500 and are only a game back of Atlanta for the 2nd NFC Wild Card spot. Previous playoff experience gives Seattle the edge over Tampa Bay, but if Marshawn Lynch does miss time with a sports hernia, then the Seahawks may lose their spot in these rankings.

Recent history heavily favors Seattle sneaking into the postseason with a 10-6 or 9-7 record as a Wild Card team. Though the aren’t catching Arizona in the NFC West, I could see this team making the playoffs and possibly beating either the NFC North or NFC East division winner in the first round. That is assuming if Marshawn Lynch is healthy, of course.

Minnesota Vikings. 5. team. 60. . . Previous:

Minnesota had a great opportunity to take advantage of a Green Bay Packers team that was on a three-game losing streak, but failed to capitalize. Though the Vikings have a great defense and a great running game featuring RB Adrian Peterson, is QB Teddy Bridgewater going to help or hurt the club come playoff time?

The Vikings are certainly a playoff team in the NFC and could still win the NFC North, but Sunday was a great time for a statement win and Minnesota came up short. This team is no worse than 10-6. That is a strong enough record to ensure that the Vikings will make the NFC Playoffs for the first time in three years.

Next: Tier I: Projected NFC Division Winners