The Falcons sat unmoved at No. 2 in every rankings except for SB Nation NFL editor Joel Thorman's. Thorman had Atlanta and Houston 1-2 last week, and flipped the rankings after Houston blew out Tennessee and the Falcons came from behind to beat Carolina on a field goal:
2. Atlanta Falcons (LW: 1, 4-0): Like the Texans, the Falcons are way out ahead of their division and will probably have it wrapped up early. Atlanta looks like the real deal from top to bottom. This could be the year it gets over the playoff win hump.
ESPN.com agrees that Atlanta could have an automatic home playoff game if the NFC South continues to crumble:
For the Falcons, playing in the NFC South is like getting a free pass to the playoffs.
Pete Prisco at CBS gave the Birds some credit for surviving a scare, even at home, and even to a lesser team in Carolina:
Good teams need games like they had against the Panthers. That's a good sign, being able to win the way they did.
Brian Billick at Fox Sports also kept Atlanta at No. 2 and also defended the Falcons for having to come from behind: