Thursday, September 28, 2023

Atlanta Falcons Week 4 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2023 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 4 roundup for the Atlanta Falcons in our consensus 2023 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 16

Biggest issue on offense: Finding early rhythm

After every game, quarterback Desmond Ridder (and others) have lamented how Atlanta hasn't been able to find an offensive flow early in games. The Falcons have two first-half touchdowns in their first three games and the struggles have led Atlanta to have more pressure put on it in the second halves. Twice, the Falcons have found second-half rhythm, but that's not a sustainable way to play -- and it starts with more consistency from Ridder and better protection from the offensive line. -- Michael Rothstein -- Rank: 17

A team that drafted three skill-position players with top-10 picks over the past three years and fields the league's second-highest-paid offensive line is not supposed to put up just 119 yards of offense on its first nine possessions, even in a tough environment like what the Falcons faced Sunday in Detroit. Arthur Smith got away from the run too early in a tight game. Beyond that, though, Atlanta has displayed some passing-game shortcomings through three weeks. The fault is not all with Desmond Ridder, as the Falcons have been pretty conservative on first-half passes, and the pass protection has been surprisingly leaky at times. This was not a devastating loss, but Atlanta must address the offensive-identity element before long.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 17

The offense failed to show up in the loss to the Lions. Three points won't win a lot of games. Now they head to London to play a desperate Jacksonville team.

USA Today -- Rank: 14

If you guessed their leading receiver on the season is Mack Hollins (114 yards), here's the door prize. Being a physical team is great ... except when it renders you one-dimensional and tells defenses to put games on the arm of a suspect quarterback.

The Athletic -- Rank: 19

QB confidence rating: 3

The questions about Desmond Ridder and whether he can steer an offensive ship that includes running back Bijan Robinson, wide receiver Drake London and tight end Kyle Pitts got louder after Sunday when a hesitant and inaccurate Ridder had a passer rating of 70.2. A combination of 6.3 yards per attempt (25th in the league) and 62.5 percent completion rate (24th) for the season is not promising.

FOX -- Rank: 12

I'm definitely not sure the Falcons belong up here, but tell me, who below them is more deserving? The Lions won this week's matchup of rushing-reliant teams well-stocked with young talent, but this is just the beginning of the Bijan Robinson-Jahmyr Gibbs comparisons.

Yahoo! -- Rank: 15

Winning home games against an 0-3 Panthers team or a shorthanded Packers team is fine. But we saw Sunday that the Falcons' ceiling is probably limited. Passing on the chance to land Lamar Jackson because they believed in Desmond Ridder was dubious at best, and it's the kind of passive approach that limits how good this franchise can be. The Falcons played a good team on the road in Week 3 and put up six points at Detroit. This is probably who the Falcons will be. We'll see if they can win enough games against bad teams to stay in the playoff race.

PFT -- Rank: 13

Even though they lost, they're still looking like potential contenders.

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