A weekly examination of the Falcons’ ESPN.com Power Ranking:
Preseason: 4 | Last Week: 14 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002
Dropping another two slots in the rankings shouldn't be a surprise, as the No. 16 Falcons fell to 1-3 with a 30-23 home loss to the Patriots.
Issues remain on both sides of the ball. A 1-for-6 red zone performance against the Patriots showed the Falcons have a serious problem despite having one of the league's top quarterbacks. Even Matt Ryan admitted not helping the cause with some poor throws against a stingy Patriots defense.
Defensively, the Falcons continue to give up big plays at the wrong time. They surrendered a 47-yard touchdown run by LeGarrette Blount right after allowing the Patriots to convert a third-and-19 from their own 12-yard line. For the game, the defense allowed the Patriots to convert 54 percent (7-of-13) on third down.
Injuries haven't helped the Falcons' cause, either. Steven Jackson (hamstring) remains out while left tackle Sam Baker (knee) went down against the Patriots. Roddy White continues to recover from a high ankle sprain, while starting linebackers Akeem Dent (ankle) and Paul Worrilow (knee) are banged up too, as is cornerback Asante Samuel (thigh).
At least the Falcons have a chance to get back on track in their next two games: against the Jets (No. 22) and the Bucs (No. 31). A bye week in between those games should allow the Falcons to get healthier.