The Atlanta Falcons overcame major obstacles in travel and unavailable players to get a win in London over the New York Jets and move to 2-3 on the season.
Around the NFL after Week 5, Arizona remains the only unbeaten team, Tampa Bay's Tom Brady still appears to be in his prime and two teams (Jaguars and Lions) remain winless.
Last weekend proved to be another exciting dose of football with close games and lots of drama in the kicking game. Where do the Falcons stack up in Sports Illustrated's Week Six Power Rankings?
Atlanta rose to No. 24 following its win vs. the Jets, 27–20, in London.
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"New coach Arthur Smith’s team appears to be making strides, having played well three weeks in a row, with two wins snuck in there. And don’t look now, but Matt Ryan’s getting better in Smith’s scheme, which has some familiarities to the one Ryan ran for Kyle Shanahan during his MVP campaign."
The victory also served as a Kyle Pitts breakout game. After a relatively slow start to the season with the Falcons - 17 catches for 139 yards and no touchdowns - the rookie tight end led the team with nine catches on 10 targets for 119 yards and his first touchdown. Receivers Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage were both out.
The Falcons still have the worst odds to win the NFC South Division, according to FanDuel. Atlanta enjoys a deserved bye week in Week 6.
At the top of the power rankings is: 1. Arizona Cardinals, 2. Buffalo Bills, 3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 4 Los Angeles Chargers, 5. Los Angeles Rams.
A couple of turnovers from Atlanta helped keep the Jets in the game, but Atlanta outgained New York 450 to 230 on the day and kept the ball more than 10 minutes longer with a 35:54 to 24:06 advantage in time of possession.
Atlanta's defense kept rookie quarterback Zach Wilson in check, limiting him to 19 of 32 passing for 192 yards and an interception. His rating on the day was a paltry 63.5 compared to 21 of 34 for 297 yards, two touchdowns and a 97.3 rating the previous week in a win against the Tennessee Titans.
Atlanta will square off with the Miami Dolphins on October 24th after their bye week this week. The Dolphins are 1-4 on the year, but travel to scandal-plagued Jacksonville to take on the winless Jaguars and their coach Urban Meyer on Sunday.
Atlanta has an excellent chance to even their record at 3-3 against the Dolphins as they continue to improve and get players back from injury.
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Getting a win against the Dolphins could be crucial for Atlanta's season as the schedule takes a decidedly harder turn after the return from Miami with Carolina (3-2) at home followed by trips to Dallas (4-1) and New Orleans (3-2) to follow.