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Atlanta Falcons Move Up to Third Spot in NFL Power Rankings: Fan’s Take

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The Atlanta Falcons continue to be one of the most impressive teams throughout the opening weeks of the 2012-13 NFL season. With a 3-0 record, the similarities between Matt Ryan and a young Peyton Manning are more evident with each drop back. As the team appears ready to run away with the NFC South division title, the NFL.com Power Rankings have moved the team from the dirty south up one spot to No. 3. Where do they stand compared to other NFC teams, as well as the other undefeated teams?

The top spot in the rankings went to the only undefeated team from the AFC, the Houston Texans. Led by former Falcon backup quarterback Matt Schaub, the Texans are primed for a deep run through the playoffs. Even after taking a vicious shot that ripped off part of his ear, Schaub led the Texans to victory against the Denver Broncos in week three to earn the top spot.

Despite being undefeated, the Falcons couldn't jump ahead of the San Francisco 49ers, who dropped to 2-1 after losing to the Minnesota Vikings. The Falcons are the second NFC team in the rankings, and are one of seven NFC teams in the top 10. In a league that used to be dominated by the AFC, the NFC is quickly changing back to the dominant conference. The other 3-0 team left in the league is in seventh place as the Arizona Cardinals and their stout defense are behind the Green Bay Packers, Baltimore Ravens, and New York Giants.

Prior to the season, I thought that each team in the NFC South had a realistic shot at winning the division. Instead, the Falcons look like the only team worth watching and the rankings prove that point. The 1-2 Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the next highest ranked NFC South team at 21, while the 1-2 Carolina Panthers came in at 22 and the 0-3 New Orleans Saints are second worst, only ahead of the Cleveland Browns.

With a quality and decisive win against their division rival Panthers in week four, the Falcons could be able to move up in the rankings, but need the Texans and 49ers to lose. Even so, no matter where they are ranked, the Falcons have one of the best offenses in the league and as long as Mike Nolan finds a way to make his defense continue their impressive play, the Falcons will be in good shape.

For a look at season recaps for the Atlanta Falcons, go here for easier access.

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Hobson Lopes is a fan of the Atlanta Falcons, thanks to Deion Sanders and can be followed on Twitter @HobsonLopes .

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