Saturday, January 1, 2022

Atlanta Falcons Week 17 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2021 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the Atlanta Falcons rank in terms of average, best and worst:

  • Average ranking: 23 (23rd)
  • Best ranking: 22 (
  • Worst ranking: 24 (USA Today)

Below you will find a Week 17 roundup for the Falcons in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 23

Non-QB MVP: RB Cordarrelle Patterson

After spending the majority of his career as a special teams dynamo who showed flashes of offensive ability, Patterson became a revelation in 2021, setting career highs in almost every category, including rushing yards (579) and receiving yards (523). He also has 11 touchdowns from scrimmage, a career high, and has accounted for 39.2% of Atlanta's total rushing and receiving scores. Without Patterson on the field earlier this season, Atlanta went scoreless for six straight quarters. While cornerback A.J. Terrell and tight end Kyle Pitts could make strong cases, Patterson has such a crucial down-to-down role for the Falcons that is impossible to match. -- Michael Rothstein -- Rank: 22

We can sit here and talk about how the Falcons aren't a worthy playoff contender until we're blue in the face -- hell, I've done that for two months on the Around The NFL Podcast -- but give Arthur Smith's team credit: The kids stay in the picture. Sure, they needed a goal-line interception in the final minute to hold off Tim Boyle and the Lions on Sunday, but there's something to be said for Atlanta's ability to win close games with regularity. Here's the fun fact: The Falcons have won seven of nine one-possession games, including four victories by 4 points or less. Luck? Skill? It doesn't matter.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 23

They kept their slim playoff hopes alive by beating the Lions. Now they have to try to keep it that way by winning a road game at Buffalo. Good luck.

USA Today -- Rank: 24

Their average margin of victory in seven wins: 4.7 points. Their average margin of defeat in eight losses: 19.4 points.

The Athletic -- Rank: 23

Is he The Guy? No. Matt Ryan has been average this season -- 21st in overall offensive expected points added, per TruMedia, and 15th in touchdowns. And while it is never easy to move on from a franchise quarterback who has meant as much to a team as Ryan has, history will eventually show it was a mistake for the Falcons not to make a move to select Ryan's successor in the 2021 draft.

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