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NFL Power Rankings 2012: Falcons near the top entering playoffs

The Falcons are still viewed as a top-three team in the NFL despite losing to the Buccaneers in the regular-season finale.

Chris Graythen

The Atlanta Falcons are ranked No. 3 in SB Nation's final NFL power rankings, while coming in at No. 2 in ESPN's final regular season list.

The Falcons are coming off a 22-17 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to close out the regular season. Still, that didn't hurt the NFC's No. 1 seed in ESPN's rankings, staying right where they were the previous week. SB Nation didn't feel the same way, moving the Falcons out of the top spot with the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks leapfrogging the NFC South champions.

Atlanta is off this week, but is showing the sense of urgency needed to get over the hump and win its first playoff game since 2004, as ESPN's Mike Sando notes that "the Falcons are practicing through the bye week."

The Falcons will face the NFC's lowest remaining seed in the divisional round of the playoffs on Sunday, Jan. 13 at 1 p.m. ET.

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