There have been 17 teams since 1990 that have scored 500 or more points in a season.

The Atlanta Falcons became the 17th this past Sunday. If they can get their average of 33 points this week against the New Orleans Saints, the Falcons would finish with 535 points. That would put them as the eighth-best scoring team in the NFL since 1990.

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So how come so few think they are a legitimate threat to win it all?

Maybe it's because of the seven teams that scored more than 535 points in a season, only two made it to the Super Bowl -- but none have won it.

The two that made it and lost were the 2013 Broncos (all time scoring leader with 606 points) and the 2007 Patriots (second with 589 points). Both were upset in the Super Bowl.

The other teams that scored more than 535 points failed to make the big game, but the 1999 St. Louis Rams, who scored 526 points, did win it. That makes them the highest-scoring team to win a Super Bowl. The only other teams to score over 500 points and win a Super Bowl were the 1994 San Francisco 49ers, the 1998 Denver Broncos and the 2009 New Orleans Saints.

The 500 points puts Atlanta into some elite company, which is why they are up to third in my Power Rankings. Their improving defense, with pass rusher Vic Beasley becoming a force, gives them a real chance in the postseason. Quarterback Matt Ryan, the likely MVP, is the biggest reason they will be factor. He's playing great football.

If the Falcons beat the Saints this week, the Falcons will have the No. 2 seed, which means they will get a bye, then play at home, and maybe play the title game on the road. With that offense, they can be electric inside the Georgia Dome and then could be 60 minutes from a Super Bowl.

The Falcons are legit. It's time to start paying attention and giving them a real Super Bowl shot.

It's hard to score 500 points in a season.

Biggest Movers
8 Packers
3 Raiders
Rk
Teams
 
Chg
Rcrd
1 Patriots If they beat the Dolphins this week, they are the top seed. Then what? Then a Super Bowl is likely. -- 7-9-0
2 Cowboys They kept it rolling against the Lions. But now they have to take it easy at Philadelphia in a road game that means nothing. -- 6-10-0
3 Falcons They have improved on defense, which will be key come playoff time. They have to get stops. 2 4-12-0
4 Steelers Are they the team with the best chance to beat the Patriots? With that offense, they might be. 3 12-4-0
5 Chiefs They looked good beating the Broncos on Sunday night. Now they have to keep it going to the postseason. 3 14-2-0
6 Raiders Without Derek Carr, they have major issues. They can't win it all with Matt McGloin. 3 8-8-0
7 Seahawks They looked bad losing to the Cardinals. What happened to the defense? 3 12-4-0
8 Packers Nobody will want to play them in the playoffs. They have a division-deciding game with the Lions this week. 8 13-3-0
9 Giants That was not a good showing against the Eagles. They can't go into the postseason with two straight losses. This week's game is big. 3 6-10-0
10 Dolphins They are in the playoffs and that's an amazing job by coach Adam Gase. The defense has to tighten up after getting dominated by the Bills. 2 10-6-0
11 Lions They win against the Packers, and they win the division. They lose, and they could be out of the playoffs. 2 5-11-0
12 Broncos The Super Bowl champs will be home watching the playoffs. They have decisions to make at quarterback. 2 5-11-0
13 Ravens That was a gut-wrenching loss to the Steelers. They will be home for the postseason. 2 11-5-0
14 Buccaneers They blew their playoff chances the past two weeks, needing a miracle to get in now, but they have a lot to build on going forward. They have to improve the offensive line. 1 11-5-0
15 Texans They are the division champs, but they aren't very good. Their offense is awful. 1 4-12-0
16 Titans They weren't beating the Jaguars before Marcus Mariota went down, but that was tough to see. They overachieved this season. 1 11-5-0
17 Football Team Barring a Packers-Lions tie, if they win, they are in. That's it. And the Giants could rest guys. The Redskins can't blow that, can they? -- 7-9-0
18 Colts That wasn't a good showing by Andrew Luck against the Raiders. Are changes coming? -- 11-5-0
19 Vikings So much promise from the fast starts seems like a different time. They collapsed the past two weeks. -- 7-9-0
20 Bills Is it bye-bye, Rex Ryan time? It looks like it's going to happen now. -- 13-3-0
21 Saints Drew Brees is having an amazing season. It's too bad it's going to waste. -- 12-4-0
22 Cardinals That showing in Seattle is what we expected to see this season. They will be back in the playoff mix next season. 3 8-8-0
23 Panthers The Super Bowl hangover is complete. They never could get it going. 1 5-11-0
24 Bengals This season was undone by a lot of injuries. Can they bounce back next season? 1 4-11-1
25 Chargers Will this be Mike McCoy's last game this week? Or will he come back because of all the injury issues? 1 7-9-0
26 Eagles They showed some fight against the Giants and that has to make them feel better going into 2017. Carson Wentz will be fine. -- 4-11-1
27 Jets This is a dog team that showed all the signs of being quitters the past two weeks. Gross. -- 2-14-0
28 Rams Who will be the new coach is all that matters now. They don't have as much talent as some would make you think either. -- 10-6-0
29 Bears So much for the idea that Matt Barkley might be the long-term starter. They have to fix the quarterback spot. -- 8-8-0
30 Jaguars Who was that playing quarterback for the Jaguars against the Titans? Blake Bortles looked good -- for once this season. -- 1-15-0
31 49ers They showed some fight in beating the Rams. But it hurt their draft position. -- 6-10-0
32 Browns They won, but they still stay at the bottom. Hey, everybody else down here won as well. -- 11-5-0