NFL Power Rankings: Falcons climb

November, 22, 2011
11/22/11
1:30
PM ET
The latest ESPN.com Power Rankings are out and the Atlanta Falcons are on the way up.

After Sunday’s victory against Tennessee, the Falcons jumped from No. 13 to No. 11. With what looks like a winnable home game coming up Sunday against the Vikings, I’m thinking the Falcons have a chance to get back into the top 10 for the first time since Week 3.

The New Orleans Saints are coming off a bye and they held tight at No. 3 for the second straight week. I think the most interesting thing this week is that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers held onto the No. 20 spot. I guess voters gave them some style points for going up to Green Bay and playing a relatively close game with the Packers. But I think it’s even more interesting that Tampa Bay hasn’t fallen all that far while on a four-game losing streak. The Bucs were No. 17 before the streak started and their fall has been very gradual. I don’t vote, but I’m not so sure the Bucs are a top-20 team right now.

The Carolina Panthers lost a game Sunday, but that didn’t hurt them in the rankings. Even with the loss to Detroit, the Panthers moved up one spot to No. 30.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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