So the Falcons sit atop the NFC? Alert ESPN and Peter King

The Falcons have the NFC’s best record. They’re 8-2, having won eight of nine. In November alone they’ve beaten Tampa Bay, which is 7-3; Baltimore, which is 7-3, and St. Louis, which is 4-6 but was 4-1 at home before the Falcons showed up.

And yet: The ESPN.com home page as of 9:25 a.m. Monday asked two questions. “The NFC’s best team? Why not the Eagles?”

And Peter King of SI.com lists the Falcons No. 5 in his Fine Fifteen, with not one but two NFC teams above them. Asks King of Green Bay, which he ranks No. 1 in the league: “Who’s played better over the past month? Beat the Vikes 28-24, the Jets 9-0, the Cowboys 45-7, the Vikes again 31-3.”

Note to P.K.: Uh, maybe the Falcons? (And aren’t the Vikings and Cowboys, against whom three of those four Packer victories have been achieved, the NFL’s biggest duds? Didn’t one just fire its coach? Isn’t the other about to fire its coach?)

Understand: I’m ordinarily not one who believes The National Media Never Gives Atlanta Teams Any Credit. I don’t think there’s a vast right- or left-wing conspiracy out there to ignore our fair city. (And I would stipulate that Green Bay isn’t exactly the hub of 21st Century journalism.) That said …

The Falcons are playing pretty darn well. They’ve beaten the Saints (No. 6 according to King), the Ravens (No. 7) and the Bucs (No. 12.). They’ve lost only to the Eagles (No. 3) and the Steelers (No. 8), both of those coming on the road.

Side-by-side comparison: The Packers have beaten two teams that hold winning records;  the Falcons have beaten three.

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Further comparison: The Eagles have beaten four teams that hold winning records, the Falcons among them. And Philly beat the Falcons soundly using its backup quarterback. You can make the case, I submit, that the Eagles might — I said might — deserve to be placed ahead of Atlanta, but I don’t see a reason to elevate Green Bay above a team with a better record.

What’s that ? You say the Packers will play here this Sunday? How intriguing. And how convenient.

Guess we’ll do this the old-fashioned way. (Or, for you college fans, the non-BCS way.) Guess we’ll settle this on the field.


488 comments Add your comment

SCAM Newton

November 22nd, 2010
10:15 am

First! Maybe

Mark Bradley

November 22nd, 2010
10:17 am

First, definitely. Kudos, SCAM.

Dylan

November 22nd, 2010
10:19 am

Vick has one good game and suddenly he is the best QB of the decade

Ostrich Racer

November 22nd, 2010
10:20 am

I agree, regarding the Packers — stomping the Vikes tells me nothing. But the Eagles looked awfully good last night, and we were nip-and-tuck with the Rams until late in the 4th. And the Eagles do own the advantage, head-to-head.

Not Don Waddell

November 22nd, 2010
10:22 am

Rubber meets road on Sunday in the Dome. Get there early and be loud as hell!

@DanWeiner

November 22nd, 2010
10:22 am

The Falcons aren’t a spectacular team. They’re balanaced on offense, they don’t turn the ball over (Only the Pats and the Pats, er Chiefs, have fewer giveaway) stop the run reasonably well and force turnovers.

They’ve dominated one opponent and have let too many teams hang around on them. They’re clearly ONE of the elite teams in the NFC, but how can you begrudge anyone for saying an Eagles team, which destroyed Atlanta, and Green Bay who has an explosive passing game and a stout defense might be better than Atlanta?

Trust me, being underappreciated and flying under the radar isn’t a bag thing in the NFL. Keep winning games, keep letting people undervalue you. It works for this team.

BC

November 22nd, 2010
10:23 am

Awesome! let them go unnoticed-like Roddy White said earlier this week, they’ll fly under-the-radar the entire season as long as they can. Takes pressure off of them! By the way, ESPN’s always had a theme of thinking that all sports are in located in a Northeast bubble. Haven’t y’all ever noticed how much more attention they give The Yankees, Eagles, Patriots Phillies, Red Sox, Celtics, hell, even the Mets opposed to any other professional sports teams?? It’s always been like that. GO FALCONS!!

@DanWeiner

November 22nd, 2010
10:24 am

bag thing? Me fail grammar? That’s unpossible.

mbake!

November 22nd, 2010
10:24 am

Funny, I was perusing ESPN and SI.com this morning and was thinking the same exact thing..

SWAT Native

November 22nd, 2010
10:25 am

As Not Dan Waddell said, the good news is that we get to find out Sunday in the GA Dome. Plus, we’ll really find out in the playoffs.

Mark Bradley

November 22nd, 2010
10:26 am

Great minds run alike, mbake! Or something.

TampaGator

November 22nd, 2010
10:28 am

Philly is the better of the two teams, no doubt, and it would be interesting to see Philly and Atlanta play for the NFC title…with Vick having the opportunity to make a statement to the Falcons. I hope it happens…and I hope the Falcons crush Vick and the Eagles in the championship game. How much fun would that be? Tons.

Tyrone

November 22nd, 2010
10:28 am

If the Falcons had not treated MV7 like garbage when he was here, had kept him like they should have and had not stabbed him in the back, then Peter King would be ranking the Falcons as #1 right now instead of the Eagles.

Hate on THAT, you sorry Haters!

I'm just sayin'

November 22nd, 2010
10:29 am

So? This is the NFL where, unlike college where rankings count, it’s who wins out that counts. I like that the Falcons continue to fly under the radar. Let’s see what happens in January and February. All of that said, Dante Robinson better start shutting somebody down if the Falcons are going to keep winning.

@DanWeiner

November 22nd, 2010
10:29 am

“If the Falcons had not treated MV7 like garbage when he was here”

You mean had they not coddled him like a baby and never made him accountable for any actions? Seriously, get out of here with that nonsensical garbage.

Nuwanda

November 22nd, 2010
10:30 am

Falcons are good. No doubt. But if it weren’t for a missed field goal by the Saints and a good goal line stand against the Bucs well things might a little different. Finally against the Rams they closed out a game with an exclamation point.

Greg Norton's pee wee hitting coach

November 22nd, 2010
10:30 am

I love MMQB as much as the next guy (great bathroom read at work), but Peter King also predicted Carolina as a Playoff team and raved about Carolina’s QB play before the season and had Tampa Bay as the worst team in football with a predicted 1-15 record. If I remember correctly, he had Atlanta somewhere in the 12-16 range. He is a great journalist, but he won’t be breaking Vegas anytime soon….but then again, nor does he claim to. But a lot of people respect his column and to have Green Bay ahead of Atlanta is a stretch at this point. I think it should go Philly and then Atlanta due to Philly beating Atlanta heads up. I would say right now, my top 5 would be New England, Philly, Atlanta, Jets, Green Bay. If we beat Green Bay, then we are top 2 no matter what.

It’s been a great season thus far and I hope our Defense continues to get better and Gonzalez can hold on (you can really start to see he is nothing more than a 1st down machine, which is great, but nothing else).

Go Falcons and I’ll be in my seat at 12:30 on Sunday….I hope 80,000 are there with me.

TampaGator

November 22nd, 2010
10:30 am

Also…..last night on the NFL game on NBC….the announcers raved about Tampa Bay and New Orleans as being agood at 7-3…and then they threw in the Atlanta Falcons as being a good 7-3 team as well…

Problem with that….the Falcons are 8-2, the best record in the NFC, and they beat both Tampa Bay and New Orleans.

So….it is not only ESPN not giving the Falcons any love.

SirReal

November 22nd, 2010
10:31 am

I agree with BC about ESPN. I dont even listen to the idiots they have on their NFL shows. They try to give EVERY team EXCEPT Atlanta its proper due. First, it was N.O. We beat them on the road in OT. A win is a win. Then it was NYG they said was better than us. Well losing two back to back division games doesn’t look like “better” to me. So when they had to eat that crow…they found another darling in GB. Once we smash them on Sunday in a hard fought win, they’ll probably turn to the Bears if they win and say they are better than ATL too even if we’re sitting at 9-2. I could care less what ESPN pays these guys to say. Like you said Mark, this will be settled on the field for better or for worse.

C

November 22nd, 2010
10:31 am

Let’s go Falcons!

SWAT Native

November 22nd, 2010
10:32 am

Mark,

You need to start going on The Sports Reporters and help raise the profiles of the Atlanta teams.

TrishaDishaWarEagle

November 22nd, 2010
10:33 am

The Eagles beat a couple of SB winning QBs and the #1 defense in the league. Dont hate on the Eagles.

@DanWeiner

November 22nd, 2010
10:34 am

“I agree with BC about ESPN. I dont even listen to the idiots they have on their NFL shows. They try to give EVERY team EXCEPT Atlanta its proper due.”

Yeah, ESPN REALLY needs to give Atlanta it’s due. Maybe they should move them up in the espn.com power rankings. Oh wait, they’re already number one.

Mark Bradley

November 22nd, 2010
10:34 am

I appreciate the sentiment, SWAT Native, but I do NOT need to start going on TV. I tend to cause trouble when I do.

TampaGator

November 22nd, 2010
10:34 am

The NBC announcers last night…..”How about the 7-3 Saints and the Bucs? They are good teams. And the Falcons are a good 7-3 team too.”
Problem…the Falcons are 8-2 and beat both the Saints and the Bucs. So it isn’t just ESPN not giving the Falcons any love.

MR

November 22nd, 2010
10:36 am

@Tyrone
You have got to be kidding. No one can be that stupid. The Falcons did not hate on MV. He was a thug and criminal. He almost destroyed the franchise. If anything the Falcons treated the piece of garbage like a humanbeing and were punished for it. He still owes them money and an outright apology for being such an Ahole.

TampaGator

November 22nd, 2010
10:36 am

If my post about NBC comes on twice. Sorry. It seemed not to go the first time.

Bull Schmitt

November 22nd, 2010
10:37 am

Until the playoffs begin, it’s difficult to determine the best teams. If our beloved team beat the Cheezits on Sunday (and I sure hope they do), we’ll have one more reason to smile and more reason to beat our chests. If we lose, folks will get pissed and start blaming the size of our D-line, Matt Ryan’s arm and all sorts of other stuff. I’m just glad to see our team winning consistantly and against some good teams. That “process” appears to be working. Go Falcons!

Ralph

November 22nd, 2010
10:38 am

Mark,

Tired of repeating the Cam Newton crap? Last week you and the AJC joined the ranks of TMZ and supermarket sensational gossip outlets. Using verified facts is no longer required – just repeat unsubstantiated accusations by admitted shysters is good enough. Rogers asks for money CLAIMING he can deliver Newton via his father to MSU is now taken as gospel, and must infer Auburn absolutely actually paid to get Newton. No need to find actual evidence when gossip and innuendo suits a wishful reporter/editor hypothesis at the AJC. Such a lack of journalistic integrity is probably a course at thUGA.

TampaGator

November 22nd, 2010
10:38 am

The Eagles have one of the best, if not the best, head coaches in the NFL….along with the NE HC. What they have done with Vick to turn him into a throwing QB is just amazing. It makes you realize how bad the coaches were in Atlanta when Vick played here….or how unwilling to be coached Vick was….who knows.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mark Bradley and Matt, Matt. Matt said: Take THAT @SI_PeterKing #hater RT @MarkBradleyAJC So the #Falcons sti atop the NFC? Someone alert #ESPN and Peter King. http://bit.ly/am253S [...]

markie mark

November 22nd, 2010
10:39 am

Tyrone, are you kidding me? Blank paid him$60 million or so dollars, and he turned around and LIED to him? and HE was mistreated? you are just one of those guys that believe culture and race is everything, and right/wrong is of no consequence versus race….how pathetic….

marke

November 22nd, 2010
10:40 am

Proud of the Falcons.

TampaGator

November 22nd, 2010
10:40 am

Ralph….the Newton story sells TV commercial time, newspaper ads, and internet ads….if you were a publisher or a broadcast exec….you would have run as many Newton stories as possible to increase readership and sell ad space….and the Newton story did plenty of both.
Bradley is just doing his job.

@DanWeiner

November 22nd, 2010
10:40 am

“It makes you realize how bad the coaches were in Atlanta when Vick played here….or how unwilling to be coached Vick was….who knows.”

It’s a little bit of both. The Falcons did a poor job of building around him and a poor job of coaching him (Greg Knapp LOL), but Vick also never worked nearly as hard as he should have, especially given what Mr. Blank was paying him.

eddiedawg

November 22nd, 2010
10:40 am

@Tyrone-
How is paying a man 120 million stabbing him in the back?? You Vickophants kill me. Go root for the Iggles you loser. We got a real qb and his name is Matt Ryan. And I guarantee you he ain’t fighting and killing dogs in between games.

GO FALCONS BEAT THE CHEESE HEADS!

Willy

November 22nd, 2010
10:41 am

But wait, what about the Bulldogs? Come one, what about them?!

markie mark

November 22nd, 2010
10:43 am

TampaGator – MV has owned up to the fact that he didn’t want to practice, study film, etc. in Atlanta even though the coaches were all but begging him to. When he lost everything, he started putting in the time to be able to produce like he is now. Wish he had that work ethic when he was a Falcon…..

GTBob

November 22nd, 2010
10:43 am

The Falcons aren’t really the sexy pick right now. That could change really quick if we take down Green Bay. The Eagles are getting a lot of love because of Vick’s amazing play recently. I don’t think he will be able to keep that up and there are other holes on their team. Luckily this isn’t College Football so sports writers opinions don’t really mean anything. Most writers were crowning the Giants as the best team in the NFC just a few weeks ago.

Mark Bradley

November 22nd, 2010
10:44 am

I note the Falcons are a two-point favorite over Peter King’s No. 1 team

JoeFann

November 22nd, 2010
10:45 am

As a 45 year Falcon fan, I like our chances. Mostly though, I like the progress. And this is still a work in progress. The brains are adding pieces every year, building for the long haul. I like the competitiveness, the physicality and the nasty streak of the O line. The D is improving, but this is not yet a complete team. The great news is that they’re still young, by NFL starting standards, and will only get better. I’m excited by the prospects and thrilled to watch every game, but realistic enough to know that on any given Sunday, they can be beat. The NFL is about matchups, both one on one and scheme. I can see the secondary getting lit up by another great quarterback on Sunday. I also see a third year quarterback becoming “elite” right before our eyes. His grasp of the offense and his understanding of what the defense is taking away, allow him to get the offense out of a bad play and into something better, which gives you a chance. I hope somehow the Giants take out Philly, as MV7 is not someone the Falcons (or anyone else) want to face in the playoffs. I’d rather see NO and TB (and/or ATL) get the wildcards and leave Philly at home. They scare me.

TampaGator

November 22nd, 2010
10:45 am

Ralph….

I wonder how many Georgia vs. Tech stories will be the featured stories this week….probably not many….since readership of those stories will be limited due to the poor play and overall fan interest in the game….as with the FSU vs. Florida game….although it still has plenty of interest with Florida, FSU, GA, and Tech fans…but that is about all. The big story….that everyone is interested in reading about…..AUBURN VS. BAMA. ME….I say Bama by 14 pts….with the BAMA D stopping Cam big time. I hope Auburn loses….because Oregon or Boise would crush the Tigers in a championship game. I would prefer to see Oregon and Boise State play for the NC. Much more of an interesting game….don’t you think? And better teams…don’t you really think?

Lowcountry Bulldawgs

November 22nd, 2010
10:46 am

Eagles get the nod, just for the head 2 head victory, but Green Bay rely’s way to much on the passing game for my liking. One a nuetral field I like the Falcons chances against any of them. The mix of the run game with the passing game is superb and the ability to creat turnovers on defense really tips this team over the top. It is a great mix of talent and execution on this team.

Willy

November 22nd, 2010
10:46 am

If Atlanta beats Green Bay, the media will decide Green Bay sucks and anoint Philly as the best team in the NFC, without question.

Headley Lamar

November 22nd, 2010
10:47 am

Rogers asks for money CLAIMING he can deliver Newton via his father to MSU is now taken as gospel, and must infer Auburn absolutely actually paid to get Newton. No need to find actual evidence when gossip and innuendo suits a wishful reporter/editor hypothesis at the AJC. Such a lack of journalistic integrity

Yes Ralph. It is taken as the truth. Because Auburn has cheated so many times before you almost have to assume they are doing it again.

MOST-PENALIZED DIVISION I PROGRAMS:

Arizona State 8

Southern Methodist 8

Auburn 7

Florida State 7

Memphis 7

Minnesota 7

Oklahoma 7

Texas A&M 7

Wichita State 7

Wisconsin 7

✭Nine programs have been penalized six times, including USC and UCLA.

When you develop a history like that forgive us if we don’t believe you when you say you didn’t do it this time.

Kevin

November 22nd, 2010
10:48 am

Even Mike Smith said in his post game remarks to the team in the locker room, “We have yet to puta good 60 minutes together,” which to me says the Falcons know they still have work to do. Go Dirty Birds!!

TampaGator

November 22nd, 2010
10:49 am

I am personally very happy for Michael Vick…..he served his sentence like a man….with dignity I might add….got out…earned his way back into the NFL….like a man….worked hard for the Eagles…and found out what working hard will do for you….make you one of the best QBs in the NFL now….and helps you make the most of your natural given talents. Good for you…Mr. Vick. I wish you continued success…but not against the Falcons.

dean

November 22nd, 2010
10:50 am

Tyrone @ 1028.

Never mind. Some things are just plain obvious.

@DanWeiner

November 22nd, 2010
10:50 am

“I note the Falcons are a two-point favorite over Peter King’s No. 1 team.”

Vegas ALWAYS gives teams a three point bump for playing at home, so Green Bay would be a 1 point favorite over Atlanta on a neutral field.

threeWINNINGseasonsINaROW!!!

November 22nd, 2010
10:50 am

One of the (small) things being forgotten during this strong Falcons’ season is that we’re on the verge of seeing three straight winning seasons. Will we ever see another losing season, especially under this management team. You’ve assembled a good one, Mr. Blank. Keep that talent happy, please.