The Atlanta Falcons were scorned throughout the spring and summer for not making the futile attempt at acquiring Lamar Jackson.
The mainstream media tended to ignore the foundation head coach Arthur Smith and general manager Terry Fontenot built on offense. They ignored the significant upgrades the Falcons made on defense through free agency.
After a 2-0 start, it seems some of the doubters are coming around… especially ESPN.
In the latest round of NFL Power Rankings from ESPN, the Atlanta Falcons have jumped a whopping 12 spots from No. 23 to No. 11.
Unfortunately, they don’t add any commentary for their rationale on the big move. However, the Falcons have the No. 14 scoring offense and the No. 8 scoring defense in the NFL, and those numbers along with a 2-0 record help justify the leap.
ESPN’s theme this week from the league of beat writers was players contracts to watch. Michael Rothstein, the Falcons’ beat writer for ESPN, chose A.J. Terrell.
“The fourth-year cornerback still has his fifth-year option to play on in 2024, but how Atlanta handles his contract will be worth watching,” wrote Rothstein. “At this point there’s little reason to believe Terrell would not get extended — he’s a team leader, one of the best young corners in the league and a franchise staple — it’s just a matter of when.
“That ‘when’ could be close to the new league year as there’s precedent from Atlanta here. That’s when Falcons right guard Chris Lindstrom received his deal in March.”
We’ve said all along that power rankings don’t win games. If the wins come, the national recognition will come. The Falcons are 2-0 with a feeling that their offense is just scratching the surface.
They face a stern-road test on Sunday against the 1-1 Detroit Lions. ESPN considers the Lions a 3.5-point favorite.
Just another chance to prove the doubters wrong.