NFL Power Rankings: Falcons stay at No. 1

October, 23, 2012
10/23/12
12:02
PM ET
The latest ESPN.com Power Rankings are out and the Atlanta Falcons remain the unanimous choice at No. 1.

It’s hard to argue with that ranking because the Falcons are the league’s only undefeated team. But, as I’ve said before, the Falcons haven’t played like the NFL’s best team the last three games. The good news is, I’m not sure there clearly is a best team in the league right now.

Coming out of their bye week, the Falcons undoubtedly will make some tweaks. Maybe that will help everything come together at the same time and they truly can start establishing themselves as the NFL’s best team.

As you might expect, the rest of the NFC South rankings aren’t pretty. The New Orleans Saints are at No. 20 and they have a chance to keep climbing because they’ve got a little momentum with a two-game winning streak and Joe Vitt returning from suspension to take over again as the interim head coach.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are No. 26. That might be a little low. Yeah, this team is 2-4, but you can see some positives and I’ve got a hunch the Bucs are going to keep improving as the season goes on.

The Carolina Panthers are No. 29. When I saw that, I quickly looked to see which teams were ranked beneath them. The Browns, Jaguars and Chiefs are. I haven’t seen all that much of the Browns, Jaguars and Chiefs, but I have to wonder if they really can be any worse -- or more dysfunctional -- than the Panthers. I think Carolina’s a team that could be No. 32 in the rankings one of these weeks.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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