Tabeek's NFL Power Rankings: Falcons surge after stunning 49ers

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We're just two weeks away from wrapping up the 2019 regular season and a few teams – and division races – are still managing to surprise us.

Enter the Atlanta Falcons, who are not only 4-2 in their last six games, but they've now knocked off the two best teams in the NFC – both on the road, too. Unfortunately, it's too little too late for the Falcons' postseason hopes, but it's still a good sign for coach Dan Quinn. His players are fighting to the end – and the Red and Black jump five spots in this week's rankings. 

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Speaking of fighting to the end, the Cowboys and Eagles – both sporting mediocre 7-7 records – are still alive and will likely decide the NFC East crown this Sunday in Philadelphia. Call it an early playoff (or play-in) game. Should be fun.

So, without further ado, it's time for the Week 16 edition of my Wildly Important NFL Power Rankings. Enjoy.

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1. Ravens (12-2) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
They continue to roll with the NFL’s best record, own the top seed and home-field advantage. 1
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2. Saints (11-3) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
Drew Brees and Co. blew past the Colts on Monday night. Don’t be surprised if they end up with the top seed. If so, look out. 3
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3. Seahawks (11-3) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
They own the No. 1 seed in the NFC. A showdown with the 49ers on Dec. 29 will likely determine if they keep it. 7
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4. Vikings (10-4) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
I feel like a broken record here, but they’re going to be a very tough out come January. Big one vs. the Packers up next. 4
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5. Patriots (11-3) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
Yeah, yeah, yeah … the Patriots look out of sync on offense, right? They’ll be just fine, especially with that defense. 5
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6. Packers (11-3) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
OK, they don’t have that ‘wow’ factor but all they do is keep winning. Can make a big statement by beating the Vikings on the road this week. 6
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7. 49ers (11-3) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
Too far of a drop after losing to the Falcons? Maybe, but they look very beatable and beat up right now. 2
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8. Bills (10-4) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
Huge playoff-clinching win at Pittsburgh for this franchise. This is a hard-nosed team that won’t go away easy down the stretch. 8
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9. Chiefs (10-4) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
Patrick Mahomes is starting to look like his old self again – and that’s bad news for the rest of the AFC. Two very winnable games up next to close out the season. 9
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10. Texans (9-5) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
They’re a little inconsistent but squeeze back into the top 10 this week after squeaking past the Titans. 13
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11. Cowboys (7-7) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
Wow, they finally played like the team we expected to see all season in a blowout of the Rams – their first win over a team with a winning record. Huge one vs. Philly next. 15
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12. Eagles (7-7) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
They pulled out a dramatic win over the Redskins to keep their postseason hopes alive. Showdown vs. the ‘Boys will decide the East. 19
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13. Steelers (8-6) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
Even with the loss to the Bills, they’re still clinging to the sixth playoff spot in the AFC. Pretty remarkable. 10
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14. Titans (8-6) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
They’re still in the hunt despite calling to Houston. Two brutal games up next: vs. the Saints and at the Texans for a huge a rematch (if they’re still alive). 11
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15. Buccaneers (7-7) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
What? They’re ahead of the Rams, who are still alive in the NFC and have a better record? Yep. I like how this team continues to scrap under Bruce Arians. 18
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16. Rams (8-6) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
Speaking of the Rams … What a disappointing performance by the defending NFC champs in Arlington, especially with everything to play for. Stick a fork in them. 12
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17. Colts (6-8) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
They were eliminated with the loss to the Saints on Monday night. Would have been nice if they bothered to show up. 16
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18. Falcons (5-9) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
Stunning win on the road against a 49ers team that is fighting for the top seed and home-field advantage still. The Falcons have been a much different (and much better) team since their bye week. 23
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19. Raiders (6-8) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
What a disappointing way to close the book on the city of Oakland. They deserved better. That’s all. 17
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20. Bears (7-7) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
They are what they are – a .500 team. Bears have some big decisions to make this offseason, beginning at quarterback. 14
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21. Broncos (5-9) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
After smoking the Texans, they lay an egg in KC. This team has been wildly inconsistent all season long. 21
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22. Browns (6-8) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
Now there are reports surfacing that multiple players want out of Cleveland (and that some were reportedly yelling, 'Come get me' to the opposing sideline Sunday). Good times. 20
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23. Chargers (5-9) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
Are we witnessing the final days of Philip Rivers in a Chargers uniform? It sure feels like it. 22
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24. Panthers (5-9) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
Yo, Will Grier. Starting loosening up that arm, kid. Think you might be up soon. 24
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25. Jaguars (5-9) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
It wasn’t magical, but it was just enough from Gardner Minshew. Next up are the Falcons. 26
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26. Cardinals (4-9-1) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
They dropped 38 on the Browns and still need some parts, but things are looking up in the desert. 27
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27. Jets (5-9) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
That performance against the Ravens should shows just how much work still needs to be done for this team. 25
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28. Lions (3-10-1) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
Life without Matthew Stafford is tough, and the Lions are constantly reminded of that hard truth. 28
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29. Giants (3-11) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
Bittersweet moment for Eli and Giants fans as he closed out things at home for the last time with a win. 31
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30. Dolphins (3-11) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
They lost the Giants but … they’re still holding on to the No. 3 pick in the NFL Draft at least. 29
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31. Redskins (3-11) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
Really like how they fought until the end against the Eagles. Lots of change coming in the offseason for this once-proud franchise. 30
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32. Bengals (1-13) TABEEK'S TAKE PREVIOUS
They went toe-to-toe with the Patriots for a bit … but the turnovers, dropped passes and sloppy play reminded us all why they have just one win. 32
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan #2 high-fives Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn during the first half against the Chicago Bears on September 27, 2020. (Photo by Kyle Hess/Atlanta Falcons)

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