2018 NFL Power Rankings: Brandin Cooks, Ndamukong Suh puts Rams on top

FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 10: Brandin Cooks
FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 10: Brandin Cooks /
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(Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images) /

10. Atlanta Falcons

All the Atlanta Falcons wanted this past season was another chance to potentially earn their first Super Bowl in franchise history after their historic collapse against the Patriots during the previous season. While the Falcons deserve credit for reaching the Divisional Round before falling to the Eagles, this still didn’t help the pain from that epic Super Bowl loss.

The good news for Atlanta despite their early playoff exit is there’s every reason to believe this team will continue to be a top contender in the NFC heading into next year with all of the loaded talent on both sides of the football. Over the years, the Falcons’ offense has received heavy praise for the duo of Matt Ryan and Julio Jones along with Devonta Freeman handling the load in the ground game, but the defense has actually been on the rise over the last two seasons.

Keep in mind how great of a job Atlanta’s defense did for the most part against Philadelphia in that Divisional Round, and it’s easy to see why there’s so much hype surrounding the unit. When looking at all of the offensive talent in the NFC South, the Falcons may rely on their young defense even more next season.