Falcons open as No. 7 in ESPN’s early 2018 NFL power rankings

The Atlanta Falcons will begin next season as the seventh-best team in the NFL, according to ESPN.com.

In their “way-too-early” 2018 NFL power rankings, ESPN.com slates the Falcons as the fourth-best team in the NFC, behind the Philadelphia Eagles (No. 2), Minnesota Vikings (No. 4) and New Orleans Saints (No. 6).

The Falcons finished 10-6 this season before losing to the eventual Super Bowl LII champions, the Eagles, in the NFC Divisional Round.

“The Falcons' offense lost some of its luster in 2017,” ESPN.com wrote. “Matt Ryan didn't have a single three-touchdown game, and finished with half as many 30-yard pass plays as he did a season ago. Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian is slated to return in 2018 and no major pieces on offense are expected to leave, so perhaps a full year of experience under Sarkisian's system will do some good.”