NFL Power Rankings: Falcons firm at No. 1

The latest ESPN.com Power Rankings are out and the Atlanta Falcons remain in the top spot for the third straight week.

The difference this week, though, is I think you now can make a strong argument that the Falcons really are the best team in the NFL. That’s because they put together their most complete game of the season on Sunday in Philadelphia. The Giants, Texans, 49ers and Bears area also very good, but I think you now can argue the Falcons are better because what happened in Philadelphia gives more evidence than just an undefeated record.

As has been the case since early in the season, there’s a big gap between the Falcons and the rest of the NFC South.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers rose five spots to No. 21 with their impressive victory against Minnesota, but the other two NFC South teams continued to tumble.

The New Orleans Saints fell six spots to No. 26, which is the worst ranking I can recall for the Saints in the five seasons I’ve been covering the NFC South.

The Carolina Panthers are No. 30. They tumbled only one spot, but I think that’s only because the Jaguars and Chiefs have such a strong hold on the bottom two spots.