Friday, September 16, 2022

Atlanta Falcons Week 2 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2022 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Below you will find a Week 2 roundup for the Atlanta Falcons in our consensus 2022 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 29

Rookie who stood out: WR Drake London

We didn't know what the Falcons were going to get out of London, who was injured in the preseason opener against Detroit and didn't return to practice until last Monday. But he showed he could slide into an NFL lineup with ease, tying for the team lead in targets along with tight end Kyle Pitts (seven) and leading Atlanta with five receptions for 74 yards. He also showed a willingness to run block, so a good overall first game for London. -- Rank: 30

The Falcons must learn how to close games. A season ago, they struggled to stop offenses and score points in the fourth quarter -- and that trait resurfaced in a hard-to-swallow 27-26 loss to the rival Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Atlanta had a 26-10 lead with less than 13 minutes to play before surrendering three straight scoring drives to cough up the lead. Marcus Mariota had two key fumbles in the second half -- one was lost deep in Saints territory and another, while recovered by Atlanta, led to a failed third-and-short conversion with the team ahead in the final minute. "You buried us in May. Bury us again," coach Arthur Smith said after the loss. "We don't care. We'll get back to work."

CBS Sports -- Rank: 32

They hung around and probably should have defeated the Saints Sunday. Give Arthur Smith credit for having this undermanned team ready to play.

USA Today -- Rank: 31

TE Kyle Pitts was MIA on Sunday, and Atlanta was facing one of the league's best defenses. But HC Arthur Smith almost unfailingly finds ways to keep an overmatched roster competitive.

The Athletic -- Rank: 29

Poor Arthur Smith. After everything he's overcome in his life, the hits somehow still keep coming from a media empire stacked against him. First, Edward R. Murrow trades away Matt Ryan. Then, Walter Cronkite delivers him the 30th-ranked defense in the league. All of a sudden, it's Week 1, the Falcons have a 26-10 fourth-quarter lead and Ida B. Wells orders him to stop covering Michael Thomas. Then it's fourth-and-1 late in the fourth quarter and a first down is all Smith needs to win the game, but Hunter S. Thompson thinks he should play it safe and punt instead.

"You guys wrote our obituary back in May," whined Smith after he and his team turtled under pressure. "You'll continue to write our obituary. Who cares?"

So Jeff Schultz did.

The Ringer -- Rank: 30

We might not have the chance to do this very often this season, so we'll start by saying a few nice things about the Falcons: Marcus Mariota and Cordarrelle Patterson (120 rushing yards) thrived in Arthur Smith's play-action-heavy offense in Week 1, and Atlanta's secondary, led by corners A.J. Terrell and Casey Hayward, was dominant early against the Saints. Even the offensive line, a perceived weakness for the Falcons, held up extraordinarily well against the Saints' front seven.

But all of the surprise positives washed away in what is seemingly a constant negative for Atlanta: the fourth quarter. ESPN's win probability model gave the Falcons a 95 percent chance of winning when Younghoe Koo made a field goal to give Atlanta a 26-10 lead with 12:41 left in the fourth quarter. Then the Falcons collapsed in a way only the Falcons can, allowing 17 unanswered points to lose 27-26. Smith turning heel in his postgame presser really put an exclamation point on late-game disappointment overshadowing any early optimism.

Yahoo! -- Rank: 32

To lose a big lead, against a big rival in Week 1 after a great first three quarters, is gutting. The Falcons have three losses when leading by 15 points in the fourth quarter over the past three seasons; the rest of the league combined has two losses and one tie in 245 occurrences, according to CBS. Not the way Atlanta wanted to start the season.

PFT -- Rank: 28

The more things change, the more the Falcons blow a big lead in the fourth quarter.

Previous updates:

More Atlanta Falcons pages:

More of our content:

Keep track of our site's updates: (1) follow us on Twitter, (2) like us on Facebook and/or (3) subscribe to our newsletter.