The Atlanta Falcons got their first win of the season on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks. The win helped them climb out of the cellar ESPN’s NFL Power Rankings and keep moving up on NFL.com’s.
ESPN started the Falcons at the bottom of the barrel at the beginning of the season. After an 0-2 start, the Falcons were still looking up at the rest of the league despite a pair of performances against the New Orleans Saints and LA Rams that suggested this wasn’t the worst team in the NFL.
The “world-wide leader” gave the Falcons a modest promotion after their 26-23 road victory over the Seahawks elevating them from No. 32 to No. 28. In another head-scratching move, the Falcons at No. 28 check in one spot behind the…. Seattle Seahawks…. coming off a game in Seattle in which both teams left the field 1-2 on the season.
ESPN’s Michael Rothstein acknowledges quarterback Marcus Mariota is playing well, but is concerned about his penchant for disaster.
Marcus Mariota has been fine. He has completed 63.3% of his passes — that would be the second-best in a season of his career — with a QBR of 55.9. He is throwing for a career-best 8.1 yards per attempt, which has been aided by head coach Arthur Smith’s playcalling. The concern? Some of his decisions and errors at critical times, including a red zone fumble and a bad center/quarterback exchange in the second half against the Saints in Week 1, leading to a loss, and a quarterback/running back exchange Sunday that was absolved somewhat by the win. But those mistakes have clouded an otherwise pretty good return to starting for Mariota and need to be remedied if he’s going to keep the job long term. — Michael Rothstein, ESPN
NFL.com’s Dan Hanzus has been a bit more generous with the Falcons. He moved them up last week after their near-comeback against a good LA Rams team, and he likes what he sees among the Falcons skill players.
NFL.com moved the Falcons up four spots to No. 25 after beating the Seahawks… and more logically has the Seahawks at No. 28.
The Falcons have weapons. Legitimate weapons. Drake London has hit the ground running as an impact No. 1 wide receiver in his rookie season, and second-year tight end Kyle Pitts continues to display elite playmaker traits when given the chance. But the glue of the Atlanta operation remains Cordarrelle Patterson. The veteran ran over a bad Seahawks defense on Sunday, piling up 141 yards and a touchdown on the ground in a 27-23 win. It’s Patterson’s second 100-yard effort in three weeks and more proof that Arthur Smith is the guy who finally found a way to make Patterson a true star beyond special teams. Quite a feather in the hat for the coach. Dan Hanzus, NFL.com
Atlanta returns home after their back to back west-coast games to face the surprising Cleveland Browns. The Browns are 2-1 and enter the game a 1.5-point favorite according to My Bookie.
The home game against the Browns presents another chance for the Falcons to earn respect around the league as well as another excuse for ESPN to drop them back to No. 32.