NFC South look at the Power Rankings

The latest edition of the ESPN.com Power Rankings is out and it has given Thursday night’s game between Atlanta and Baltimore added significance.

The game is now a matchup of the No. 1 Ravens and the No. 3 Falcons and the highest-rated team from the AFC against the NFC’s top-rated team.

With several AFC teams struggling over the weekend, the Falcons jumped from No. 6 to No. 3 and held off the New York Giants, who are one spot behind them, among NFC teams.

The New Orleans Saints, despite a huge win in Carolina, moved up only one spot to No. 9 as the NFC South kept two teams in the top 10.

In an interesting development, Tampa Bay actually moved up one spot (to No. 13) after a close loss to Atlanta. I know a lot of Tampa Bay fans have been complaining that the Bucs don’t get a lot of respect. But that’s a pretty good show of respect when you move up in the rankings despite a loss.

Finally, the Carolina Panthers have a solid grip on No. 31, but that’s only because the Buffalo Bills have an even stronger grip on No. 32.