Friday, September 11, 2020

Atlanta Falcons Week 1 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2020 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: 16.6 (16th)
  • Best ranking: 13th (CBS Sports, USA Today)
  • Worst ranking: 21st (The Athletic)

Below you will find a Week 1 roundup for the Falcons in our consensus 2020 NFL Power Rankings.

The Athletic -- Rank: 21

Their path to a postseason berth is to ride Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and the passing game. But play-caller Dirk Koetter did not show an ability to maximize the the Falcons' offensive talent last season, and they have questions on the line. Defensively, it seems like every year the Falcons close strong, everyone wonders if it'll carry over to the next year, and it never does. This is a flawed roster with a coaching staff that has not shown it can provide an edge on a weekly basis.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 13

The improvement of the offensive line will be the key to this team getting back to the playoffs. It also has to rush the passer much better.

USA Today -- Rank: 13

Look for No. 2 WR Calvin Ridley to be one of this season's top breakout candidates.

ESPN -- Rank: 18

How much will the Falcons get out of Todd Gurley?

Vaughn McClure: Once one of the most dynamic forces in the NFL, Gurley is now a question mark due to left knee issues. Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter told ESPN he believes a healthy Gurley could see 15 to 25 touches per game. If Gurley can be a red zone scoring threat and provide a little juice in the running game, it could mean the world to a pass-heavy offense dependent on play-action. -- Rank: 18

It's hard to say if the Todd Gurley experiment will work in Atlanta, but you still feel confident in a Matt Ryan-led Falcons offense putting up enough points to win most Sundays. The pressure is on the defense to level up and get the Birds back in the postseason after consecutive dark Januarys. Pass rush was a particular weakness in 2019, when Atlanta had the second-fewest sacks in the NFL. Enter Dante Fowler Jr., the free-agent acquisition who hopes to become the new version of the old Vic Beasley. Last year, Fowler posted the second-most sacks on the Rams (11.5) and added 16 tackles for loss. That's exactly what the Falcons need.

Previous update: Atlanta Falcons Post-Draft NFL Power Rankings Roundup

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