Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Atlanta Falcons Week 9 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: 24.4 (25th)
  • Best ranking: 22nd (
  • Worst ranking: 27th (USA Today)

Below you will find a Week 9 roundup for the Falcons in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 25

Biggest Achilles' heel: Pass rush

There are a lot of issues with the Falcons at the moment, but the team has had very little pass rush throughout the season -- particularly with Dante Fowler Jr. on injured reserve. No Falcons player has more than two sacks (Fowler, Deion Jones and Jacob Tuioti-Mariner) and more critical, only two Falcons have more than five quarterback hits -- Grady Jarrett with six and Foyesade Oluokun with five. Pressure is sometimes worth sending only if the players can get there, and that's been a problem for Atlanta, but it also alters the entirety of what the Falcons can and can't do on defense. -- Michael Rothstein -- Rank: 22

So much for the theory that the Falcons were building momentum on offense. The Arthur Smith-led attack cratered on Sunday against the Panthers, managing just 213 total yards in a 19-13 loss. Playing without top wideout Calvin Ridley -- out of action for the second time in three games as he addresses mental health issues -- Matt Ryan suffered one of his worst games as a pro. The veteran passed for just 146 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions and suffered a gash to his left hand when he was accidentally stepped on in the second quarter. With Ridley's timetable unclear, Atlanta needs to find some contributors on offense beyond Kyle Pitts and Cordarrelle Patterson.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 23

With Calvin Ridley stepping away, their offense is limited. That puts more pressure on Matt Ryan and Kyle Pitts. They do get to face a backup quarterback with the Saints this week.

USA Today -- Rank: 27

No team has fewer sacks than Atlanta's 10. Add that to their laundry list of issues, including likelihood TE Kyle Pitts will face blanket coverage for the rest of his life.

The Athletic -- Rank: 25

How's the head coach? Arguably, the worst spot to be in the NFL is that gray area where you're bad but not terrible -- seven or eight wins, no playoffs, a mid-range draft pick. Atlanta is headed straight for that space. That would count as tangible progress for the Falcons in Year One under Arthur Smith and coming off a 4-12 mess in 2020.

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