Power Rankings: No. 4 Atlanta Falcons

A weekly examination of the Falcons’ ESPN.com Power Ranking:

Preseason: 4 | Last Week: 2 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

The Atlanta Falcons tumbled only two spots after a close loss to New Orleans Saints on the road.

That’s not a great start for a team that I picked to win the Super Bowl. But I also predicted the Falcons would lose to the Saints in the opener. My thinking was based on the crowd at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome being fired up by the return of coach Sean Payton after last season’s suspension.

It was, and the Saints rode the wave of emotion. But it’s not time for the Falcons to panic and it’s not time for voters to drop them out of the top five.

This is still a very good team and the loss in New Orleans was only a minor speed bump. In fact, it might even have served as a wake-up call for the Falcons.