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Week 15 NFL Power Rankings: Atlanta Falcons Back In The Top Ten

The playoffs are well within reach despite an up-and-down season.

An Atlanta Falcons team that has been under the radar for most of the season now is tied with the Detroit Lions at 8-5, with a game up in the NFC wild-card race.

As a result, they are back in the top ten in SBNation's latest NFL Power Rankings:

10. Atlanta Falcons (8-5, LW: 16): I'm still not really sure what to make of the Falcons through 14 weeks. With games against the Jaguars and Bucs remaining, 10 wins is a possibility.

There are only three 7-win teams in the NFC -- the Dallas Cowboys, the New York Giants and the Chicago Bears.

The Cowboys and Giants play each other in the last week of the season, meaning the NFC East will produce at most one 10-win team -- the division winner. The Bears, meanwhile, have struggled to score without injured QB Jay Cutler, losing three straight, and still have a road date with the unbeaten Green Bay Packers.

And because they have the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Lions after beating them early this season, a 10-win Atlanta team is almost assured a playoff berth.

After their 31-23 comeback win over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, the Falcons now control their own destiny with games against the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, both sitting at 4-9.

For more news and notes on Atlanta, check out The Falcoholic.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.