Here we have something even more meaningless than college football rankings, but let's get to it anyway. After the Atlanta Falcons have played a combined five-to-seven quarters worth of football in their first three games, it's understandable that their NFL power rankings stock has slid quite a bit since they were named Sports Illustrated's NFC pick. The Birds have landed right in the middle of the ranks for the time being.
(It's also worth noting that multiple experts are seeing the same things out of the Falcons offense that you are.)
SB Nation's Joel Thorman presents his Week 4 NFL power rankings, with concern about Atlanta's postseason viability (No. 16):
Every year, about half the teams that made the playoffs don't make it the next year. Are the Falcons on the outside looking in? It sure looks that way with the Saints and Bucs sitting ahead of them.
Pete Prisco of CBS Sports is one such expert who's saying what a lot of Falcons fans are saying (No. 16):
Is it me, or do those this offense look better when Matt Ryan calls the plays? The offensive line is getting whipped.
To that chorus we'll add FOX's Brian Billick, Mike Smith's brother-in-law and one of the few national voices who pays particular attention to the Falcons (No. 14):
The Falcons are struggling to get in rhythm offensively, and Matt Ryan playing from his butt is a huge part of it. The best thing they do is the no-huddle, and that may be tough with the crowd in Seattle. Either way, the offensive line has to find a way.
The Falcons are a talented team who have played very inconsistent during the first month of the season. Matt Ryan's team has trailed in all three games they've played this year by double digits. In Week 2, they pulled off a comeback win when Vick left the game. A lot of this team's struggles can be credited to the poor play of its offensive line. Ryan is starting to look like Jay Cutler out there.
SB Nation Bay Area's NFL power rankings also have the Falcons at No. 14, while SB Nation Houston drops the Falcons to No. 21 based partially on a "porous" defense. Not sure about that one ... Atlanta ranks in the NFL's better half in yards allowed per play, and they've only given up seven offensive touchdowns, many of them turnover-enabled. But I'm being a homer.