published Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Jay Greeson: Unbeaten Falcons head NFL power poll

There remains only one unbeaten NFL team, which means that the 1972 Miami Dolphins, the only team in league history to go undefeated and win the Super Bowl, are on the clock. The living members of that Dolphins team wait each year until the final unbeaten team is knocked off and then celebrate their continued status.

The last perfect team in the league is your Atlanta Falcons, and something tells us that the Dolphins are not overly worried just yet about Mike Smith's team running the table. This is hardly the look of the Patriots a few years ago who lost in the Super Bowl after winning every game before it. Nor does this look like some of Peyton's Colts teams that started 12-0 and looked awfully good.

No, these Falcons topped a shaky Raiders bunch Sunday by using the old-school Al Davis mantra of "Just win, baby." Here's the Poll:

1) Atlanta (6-0): The league's hierarchy is governed by a simple premise -- you are what your record says you are. These Falcons may not be perfect, but they're perfect. See, that makes sense in the NFL, right?

2) Houston (5-1): The Texans were humbled Sunday night by a desperate Packers team. That was hardly a shock, and while the loss of stud-duck linebacker Brian Cushing will be felt at some point this year, that had little to do with Houston's first loss of the season. That setback was because Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay needed that game more than Houston did.

3) Chicago (4-1): Another team whose only blemish was to an emotionally charged Green Bay team. Sure, it's tough to put Super Bowl hopes on Jay Cutler, but the Bears' QB has been better than expected and the surrounding pieces are there and improving.

4) New York Giants (4-2): An offense that is in the top 10 in passing and rushing gives the Giants one of the league's most balanced attacks. With their impressive whipping of the 49ers in San Francisco, the defending Super Bowl champions served notice that to be the champs, you'll have to beat the champs.

5) Baltimore (5-1): This may the exception to the rule of being what your record says. In a painful win over the Cowboys on Sunday, the Ravens lost middle linebacker Ray Lewis and top cornerback Lardarius Webb for the season. The Ravens are waiting to see if top pass-rusher and last year's NFL defensive player of the year Terrell Suggs will be able to return this year after suffering an Achilles' injury during the offseason. Plus, stud nose tackle Haloti Ngata injured his MCL. Ouch-standing.

about Jay Greeson...

Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...

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