A loss to the Carolina Panthers can do that to a team.
The Falcons were the No. 2 team last week, but the 30-20 loss to Cam Newton and the Panthers on Sunday moved Atlanta to the No. 4 spot. Here's what SB Nation's Joel Thorman had to say about the Falcons this week:
4. Atlanta Falcons (LW: 2, 11-2): Down goes Atlanta. The Falcons aren't blowing teams out. They're not imposing their will like the Patriots seem to do at times. They're winning close games, which always brings up the question of whether they're lucky or good. Top 10 in offense, defense and point differential ... I'd say they're a very good team, the loss to the Panthers notwithstanding.
The Falcons went down early Sunday, falling into a 23-0 hole early in the third quarter. Three late touchdowns -- including two touchdown passes from Matt Ryan -- made the game close, but Cam Newton had one of his best games of the season to close out the Falcons. Newton completed 65 percent of his passes for 287 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 116 yards and a score.
Atlanta won its first eight games of the season, but has lost two of its last five games. The Falcons finish the regular season with games against the New York Giants, Detroit Lions and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.